Will Smartphone Technology Replace Medical Devices?

Picture this – you walk into your doctor’s office for your yearly physical and instead of the classic stethoscope, the nurse measures your heart rate with an app. It might sound crazy, but this could be the future of health care.

There is a new mobile app, called Cardiio, which measures your heart rate. The app doesn’t require any contact aside from positioning the phone so that the camera captures your face. The app’s camera picks up changes in the color of your face, therefore assessing your heart rate.

Kim-Mai Cutler of TechCrunch tested the app out herself:

“‘We can measure the amount of light reflected across your face,’ said co-founder Ming-Zher Poh. ‘The more blood that flows into your face, the more it absorbs light. This is reflected off your face every time your heart beats and the camera is actually good enough to pick it up.’

In a few tests of my own, it matched the resting pulse I was able to pick up by counting my heart beats for one minute.

The company hopes to expand out to other contact-free software that measures other health information.

What do you think? Will mobile apps replace medical devices? Let us know in the comments section.


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