Xerox is testing video camera software capable of monitoring cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses at research centers in India, and Rochester, N.Y. The software, which is still in the research phase, works by detecting small changes in color that are invisible to the human eye.
The Norwalk, Conn., digital imaging giant is collaborating with researchers at Manipal University Hospital in Manipal, India, to test video cameras fitted with software that scans skin from as little as 20 feet away and converts those images into vital signs such as heart rate. A separate team is working with the University of Rochester Medical Center using the technology to detect atrial fibrillation.
“This research can have great implications for the future of healthcare and telemedicine in India and across the globe,” said Xerox spokesman Manish Gupta.
In large and highly populated countries such as China and India, many patients live far from hospitals and specialists. The video camera system would make it easier and cheaper to monitor patients at home or in local clinics, says Lalit Mestha, the project leader at Xerox’s New York research center. He notes that, even in rural areas, many people are connected via mobile phones and a phone with a high-resolution camera would suffice to take video footage.
Xerox points out that the system also eliminates discomfort from contact with devices. In a video describing the technology on the company’s website, Mestha notes that a traditional EKG would require putting leads on the skin with an adhesive gel “and particularly, in neonates, the skin can come off as you move the contacts.” — Lena Freund
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