As oximeter prices rise, a mobile phone app has come to the aid of the people who need to monitor blood oxygen level and pulse rates at home.
The price of a good oximeter in India soared to over Rs 4,000 as the need to monitor blood oxygen levels at home increased manifold, specifically during the second wave of the COVID pandemic. With growing demand, many manufacturers imported the tiny device in huge quantities only to sell them at higher prices. The price of oximeters jumped from an average Rs 800 to about Rs 4,000 due to the demand- supply mismatch.
Now, CareNow Healthcare, a Kolkata-based health start-up has developed a mobile app CarePlix Vitals that can monitor blood oxygen level, pulse and respiration rates by just placing a finger on the smartphone’s rear camera and flashlight. The application’s AI helps in determining the strength of finger placement. The stronger the finger placement, the more accurate the reading. The reports can be saved on the cloud for future reference.
According to a report in The Indian Express, a company official said, "The technology behind this is photoplethysmography or PPG. After covering the phone’s rear camera and flashlight with the finger the scan starts and it calculates the difference of light intensity. In just 40 seconds, the PPG graph is plotted and the SpO2 and pulse rate is derived."
With the alarming cardiovascular deaths in the country due to the COVID-19, 1,200 individuals were subject to clinical trial for the device at the out-patient department of the Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital, Kolkata. The test results had 96 percent accuracy with heart beats while 98 percent accuracy was recorded in case of oxygen saturation.
(Edited by : Shoma)
First Published: IST