Kolkata Startup Develops App to Monitor Oxygen & Pulse Levels
CarePlix Vitals uses PPG in the camera and flash to show oxygen levels and pulse rate
The demand for devices like oximeters, which lets one monitor vital signs like oxygen saturation level and respiration rate, has skyrocketed since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by a lack of their availability. Carenow Healthcare’s latest technical breakthrough may offer a lifeline in this scenario.
The Kolkata-based healthtech startup has created CarePlix Vital, a smartphone application that requires one to place a finger on the smartphone’s rear camera and flashlight for the screen to display their oxygen saturation (SpO2), heartbeat and respiration values within seconds.
How does it operate?
The software functions similarly to an oximeter or smartwatch, and uses the same fundamental technology — photoplethysmography or PPG. The exception is that in this case, the flashlight takes the place of infrared light sensors on wearables and oximeters. It functions as a monitor for heart rate, oxygen saturation and respiration rate.
Users must cover the rear camera and flashlight with their fingers for proper reading. The software measures the change in light intensity flowing through the finger for the next 40 seconds, and plots a PPG graph based on the difference. SpO2 and pulse rate can be calculated using this table.
The AI built into the app assesses the strength of finger positioning. More precise readings result from better finger positioning.
Feedback after launch
The app, which was created as a start-up project by three Kolkata youths, has already been downloaded by over 50,000 people. The firm completed a clinical trial of 1,200 people to back its assertion. Experiments were also performed in OPDs of hospitals in presence of doctors. In comparison tests, CarePlix Vital was found to be 96 per cent reliable when measuring heartbeat and 98 per cent accurate when measuring oxygen saturation.
On Saturday, it was released on the Google PlayStore. Initially available on Apple AppStore while Google verified the product, the app quickly rose to second place on the Google PlayStore, trailing only Aarogya Setu on Sunday, hours after its launch.