Computers and mobile devices are rapidly capturing areas of activity that, until recently, were considered the prerogative of humans. Nowadays, an ordinary smartphone is enough to determine the heart rate and other important physiologic data. Until now, remote health monitoring has been conducted mainly for high-risk patients. Usually, it was associated with medical observation after surgery or some heart diseases. In this article, we want to open your eyes to the new methods of camera-based remote health monitoring.
What’s the Need for Remote Health Monitoring?
More than 4 billion people in the world have problems with the availability of medical assistance. The problem of early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases is particularly acute. This is all the more important since such a diagnostic would avoid the development of hypertension and reduce the risk of death from heart attacks and other causes associated with high blood pressure. Meanwhile, modern methods of diagnosing heart problems are becoming available to almost everybody.
In general terms, these observations are based on the correlation between the nervous system activity and heart rate as well as some other vital parameters. The nervous system consists of two parts: somatic, which is responsible for a conscious reaction to external conditions, and autonomic, which controls the vital functions of the body. In turn, the autonomic nervous system is divided into sympathetic and parasympathetic.
The sympathetic nervous system is activated in stressful situations. The result is an increase in heart and respiration rate as well as an increase in blood pressure. When the stress passes, the body restores its normal parameters due to parasympathetic nervous system activity. The difference between these states is well expressed for young and healthy people. However, that’s not the case for people prone to high blood pressure and other health problems.
If the heart rate remains high even at rest, there is a strong reason to seek medical assistance or at least try to reduce the load. Until recently, the main problem for remote monitoring of the state of the body was the technical implementation of these methods. As a rule, the methods used required either attaching sensors to the surface of the skin or introducing them into the body by injection.
Both methods at least cause discomfort to the patient and even pain. That is why there was a need to create a new non-disturbing technology for remote health monitoring. Luckily, we at MX Labs managed to create a method that only needs an ordinary smartphone with a camera.
The number of owners of smartphones and tablets equipped with a video camera is growing from year to year, so it seems quite logical to use these devices at their maximum. We are proud to offer your our mobile product for remote vital signs monitoring:
heart rate variability;
These measurements are available to any owner of a mobile device and in almost any environment. To do this, you do not need to have any medical knowledge, since everybody knows their normal indicators. Lastly, haven’t you noticed how low the cost of extending your life is? That’s a fact to think about.
What’s Camera-based Health Monitoring?
Our approach to remote diagnostics of heart activity uses the method of photoplethysmography, so it’s called remote photoplethysmography (rPPG). It’s based on the fact that human skin, particularly the face, changes its tone depending on blood circulation. This solution is based on technology which has been widely used, among others, in pulse oximeters.