Future smartphones may monitor health by using blood, speech
Scientists are developing a technology that would let smartphones to monitor health with the help of blood and speech.
David Erickson, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University, who will receive 3 million dollars from National Science Foundation grant over five years to adapt, aims to deploy three systems that can have an immediate impact on personal healthcare: a Stress-Phone for long term stress management, a Nutri-Phone for nutritional awareness and a Hema-Phone for monitoring viral loading in HIV positive patients.
After deploying the systems, the researchers will study how people use them with an eye to eliminating any roadblocks to adoption. Ultimately, they hope to show that ready access to personal health information can get people to change their behavior.
Erickson said that almost everyone is deficient in vitamin D, but most people don't think about it and if you could use your phone to see how deficient you are, you might be more likely to take a supplement, or get more sun.
Erickson will head a multidisciplinary team of investigators from Cornell, Cornell NYC Tech, Cornell Weill Medical College, the University of Maryland and the University of California Los Angeles. The program, which is dubbed PHeNoM for Public Health, Nanotechnology, and Mobility, will be built on research Erickson started with the help of a seed grant from Cornell's David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.
That project produced a smart phone camera accessory and application that measures cholesterol levels in a drop of blood in minutes. The application uses the camera to read paper test strips that turn different colors depending on the amount of cholesterol in the blood. The Nutri-Phone and Hema-Phone will similarly use the smart phone's camera to accurately read test strips, while the Stress-Phone will also use the phone's microphone to measure stress levels in the user's voice.
(Posted on 26-08-2014)