Kolkata-based healthtech start-up CareNow Healtare has developed a smartphone application “CarePlix Vitals”. Users just need to do is place a finger on the smartphone’s rear camera and flashlight and within seconds, the oxygen saturation (SpO2), pulse and respiration rates are displayed on the device.
Subhabrata Paul, Co-founder CareNow Healthcare, said people needed a pulse oximeter or similar wearables such as a smartwatch to get their vitals such as oxygen saturation and pulse rate. “The underlying technology in all of this is photoplethysmography or PPG. We are achieving this through our smartphone’s rear camera and flashlight,” he explained. “If you see the wearables and oximeters have infrared light sensors in them but for the phone, we just have the flashlight. Once we cover the rear camera and flashlight with the finger and start the scan for around 40 seconds, we are doing nothing but calculating the difference of light intensity and based on the difference we plot the PPG graph. From the graph, the SpO2 and pulse rate is derived.”
CarePlix Vital’s is a registration based application. The application’s AI helps in determining the strength of finger placement that is, the stronger the finger placement, more accurate readings. In matter of 40 seconds, the reading is displayed and with the help of an internet connection, the readings can be saved on cloud for record.
Monosij Sengupta, CarePlix Vital’s Co-founder, said the idea stemmed from the known fact of cardiovascular deaths in the country. “My father is a doctor himself and the idea for such an application had been in the pipeline for a while. Our sister concern company under my brother Abhisek, Careplix Healthcare started in 2016 while we began our operations last year,” he said. “Our team Ankit Saha from Operations and Clinical trial team, Pathikrit Sanyal and Chennai’s Swaroop Anand from Vitals Research and Development team were behind the research, several alterations and prototypes. By December, we completed phase one.”
A clinical trial was also conducted by the team in Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital Kolkata with 1200 individuals earlier this year. The trials were conducted mainly in the OPD. CarePlix Vital was found to be 96% accurate with heart beats, while 98% accuracy in case of oxygen saturation.