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Thursday, December 8, 2022
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Birthing Better Healthcare Through Your Smartphone

Human beings are pretty much known for having a ton of valuable traits, and yet the greatest thing you are likely to find in our arsenal is that tendency to grow on a consistent basis. This tendency, in particular, has allowed us to hit upon some huge milestones, with technology sticking out as a major member of the stated group. The reason why technology has, right from the start, enjoyed an esteemed stature is predicated upon its unique skill-set, which introduced us to all the possibilities that we could have never imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, a slightly closer would reveal how the whole runner was also, at the same time, inspired by the way we used those skills in a real world setting. The latter component was, in fact, what gave the creation a spectrum-wide presence, including a timely appearance on our healthcare block. Technology’s foray into healthcare was so perfectly timed because it came right when the sector was beginning to struggle against its own obsolete structure. Fortunately, this reality was massively overhauled under the new regime, but even after pulling off such a massive feat, the medtech concept just continued producing all the right goods. If anything, our recent progression has only made the said dynamic a lot more evident, and a new development can very well get it to take another step forward.

The researching team at University of Washington has successfully developed a smartphone system, which is designed to measure your blood oxygen levels in the most convenient and financially feasible manner. According to certain reports, the methodology revolves around using a phone’s camera and flash features to carry out the stated job. How is that possible, though? Well, once you press your finger over the camera, it will immediately light up on the back of its flashlight. Next up, the camera will work to find out the amount of light a finger is absorbing. This data, in turn, will become the foundation for a deep-learning algorithm to produce one detailed lowdown on the person’s blood oxygen levels. The system, assuming it proves to be reliable in different situations, can emerge as an extremely useful tool for patients suffering from various respiratory illnesses, such as Covid 19.

“This way you could have multiple measurements with your own device at either no cost or low cost,” said Matthew Thompson, one of the developers of the new technology. “In an ideal world, this information could be seamlessly transmitted to a doctor’s office. This would be really beneficial for telemedicine appointments or for triage nurses to be able to quickly determine whether patients need to go to the emergency department or if they can continue to rest at home and make an appointment with their primary care provider later.”

Talk about the algorithm, it was, interestingly enough, trained using a method where volunteers wore a standard pulse oximeter on one finger and pressed another finger against a smartphone camera. This established a correlation between the readings. Still, in order to verify the smartphone system’s accuracy, the researchers then got these volunteers to breathe a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen for around 15 minutes. The move triggered an expected drop in blood oxygen levels, and when that happened, they brought in the algorithm-equipped smartphone to gauge the drop. Going by the available details, the system delivered correct assessment in 80% of the scenarios.

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