Kolkata: A smart phone app to get the readings of SpO2 (oxygen saturation) and pulse rate has been tested on 1,200 patients at state-run IPGMER for about two months after the ethical committee’s approval.
The study found that the app has 98% accuracy in SpO2 reading and 96% accuracy in detecting pulse rate.
Called CarePlix Vitals, the app uses artificial intelligence to remotely measure the oxygen saturation and pulse rate without any wearable device.
The app uses the PPG (photoplethysmography), a non-invasive technology that uses light sources as a photo detector.
While the pulse oximeter has infrared light sensors the CarePlix Vitals has the flashlight of the phone camera. Once the rear camera and flashlight are covered with a finger for about 40 seconds, the difference in light intensity is calculated from where the PPG graph is plotted and the oxygen saturation and pulse rate are derived from the graph.
Developed by three Kolkata youths as a start-up initiative, the app has already been downloaded by more than 50,000 users. It was launched on the Google Play Store on Saturday.
“All that one needs to do is download the app, place a finger on the smart phone’s rear camera and the flashlight for about 35 to 40 seconds and the SpO2 and pulse readings will be displayed on the phone,” said Subhabrata Paul of the start up, CareNow Healthcare.
“The measurement of oxygen saturation and pulse using the app on patients is well-correlated with the reading by the conventional pulse oximeter,” said Soutrik Kumar of the ENT department at IPGMER.
Paul, along with tech enthusiast brothers Monosij and Abhisek Sengputa, has been working on the app for several months.
“We started working on the app prior to the pandemic. We are happy that we could launch it at a time when people are scrambling for pulse oximeters. We are thankful to Swaroop Anand, Pathikrit Sanyal and Ankit Saha from CareNow Health for their support,” said Manosij Sengupta.
While Manosij and Subhabrata worked in the app from Kolkata the duo would regularly coordinate with Abhishek, who is currently based in Chicago, though online meets.
Initially launched on Apple play store as Google was taking time to verify the product, the app ranked second only after Arogya Setu on the Google play store on Sunday hours after its launch.