As India fights the second wave of COVID-19, oximeters have become an important item for households.
With an increase in demand for healthcare devices, prices of pulse oximeters have been hiked by manufacturers.
Today a good pulse oximeter can easily cost around Rs 2000.
In order to replace the oximeter, a Kolkata-based health start-up has developed a mobile app. The app is called CarePlix Vital. It can monitor your blood oxygen level, pulse, and respiration rates.
According to reports, one needs to use the mobile app is place a finger on their smartphone’s rear camera and flashlight and within seconds, the oxygen saturation (SpO2), pulse and respiration rates are displayed on the device.
Subhabrata Paul, Co-Founder CareNow Healthcare said that people needed a pulse oximeter or similar wearables such as a smartwatch to get their vitals such as oxygen saturation and pulse rate. The underlying technology in all of this is photoplethysmography or PPG.
She added, “We are achieving this through our smartphone’s rear camera and flashlight. If you see the wearables and oximeters have infrared light sensors in them but for the phone, we just have the flashlight. Once we cover the rear camera and flashlight with the finger and start the scan for around 40 seconds, we are doing nothing but calculating the difference of light intensity and based on the difference we plot the PPG graph. From the graph, the SpO2 and pulse rate is derived.”
The app is a registration-based application. The application’s AI helps in determining the strength of finger placement that is, the stronger the finger placement, the more accurate readings.
Reports cited that the reading is displayed in a matter of 40 seconds and with the help of an internet connection, the readings can be saved on the cloud for the record.
Talking about the idea behind CarePlix Vital’s, Monosij Sengupta, co-founder said that the idea stemmed from the known fact of cardiovascular deaths in the country.