Engineers from the University of California, San Diego and University of Washington, provide a proof-of-concept analyzation displaying how smartphones are capable of examining blood oxygen levels.
According to this recently published report, the smartphone strategy is almost the same level of efficiency as the traditional standard hospital device.
Professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSD, Edward Wang, a leading author in this story, says that the objective of this is to see if a smartphone can be used as a valuable medical device tool.
“The biggest difference between a medical device, how it’s made and how the smartphone-based health monitor works, is that we don’t have a perfect system and we have to use machine learning and a lot of data to sort of help us get to somewhere close to what would have been the perfect physical system, which is the medical device,” said Wang, who's also is a faculty member of UCSD's Design Lab.
When conducting this study, the research authors utilized a smartphone's camera device to take a video clip of an individual's blood flow with one placed finger, and used another finger to track it with a pulse oximeter tool.
With a smartphone device, the light would analyze how the amount of oxygen in the blood switches colors.
According to Professor Edward Wang, as oxygen attaches to hemoglobin, there's an eventual switch of color in the blood due to the change of saturation of the oxygen in the blood itself.
“The camera records how much that blood absorbs the light from the flash in each of the three color channels it measures: red, green and blue,” Wang said.
However, the authors of this study says that it will take quite some time before this smartphone tool starts being used commonly in homes or medical clinics.