Looking for alternatives for Oximeters? THIS mobile app will monitor blood oxygen

The second wave of COVID-19 has shattered the lives of people in India and this time the shortage of oxygen has forced people to buy oxymeters.

With the rise in demand, the manufacturers have increased the price of oximeters and they can be bought at around Rs 2,000 these days.

In order to reduce the demand for oximeters, a Kolkata-based healthcare startup has come up with a mobile application called CarePlix Vital, which basically keeps a track of your blood oxygen level, pulse, and respiration rates.

As per the report by BGR.in, the app functions in a way that a user will be asked to place a finger on their smartphone’s rear camera and flashlight, and within seconds, the oxygen saturation (SpO2), pulse and respiration rates are displayed on the device.

“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,” Subhabrata Paul, Co-Founder CareNow Healthcare told The Indian Express.

“We are achieving this through our smartphone’s rear camera and flashlight. 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,” the co-founder further said.

A registration-based app, CarePlix Vital uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the strength of finger placement. The stronger the finger placement, the more accurate readings.

“In a matter of 40 seconds, the reading is displayed and with the help of an internet connection, the readings can be saved on cloud for the record,” reports said.

Speaking about the idea behind CarePlix Vital’s, co-founder Monosij Sengupta revealed, “The idea stemmed from the known fact of cardiovascular deaths in the country and the clinical trial for the device was conducted earlier this year by the team in Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital Kolkata with 1200 individuals.”

Paul added that the trials were mainly conducted in the OPD and the comparisons were made to test the accuracy and it was found that CarePlix Vital was 96 percent accurate with heartbeats while 98 percent accuracy in case of oxygen saturation.