WATCH: High tech apps could change medicine

Remember when every household had a mercury thermometer?

In the digital age, mobile health apps could become the new home diagnostic tool for parents.

Now UBC scientists are turning the smartphone into a life saving medical device that could be used anywhere and by anyone.

Biomedical engineer Walter Karlen started working on developing this new technology a few years ago.

He wants to help tackle the problem of pneumonia in children, which is still a major killer around the world with 2 million deaths each year.

The phone pulse oximeter measures heart rate and blood oxygen saturation quickly and easily using an inexpensive sensor.

Dr. Eleanor Reimer recently tested out the phone oximeter on a medical mission to Uganda.

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It still needs some refinement for clinical work, but the impact will be profound.

Dr. Karlen’s newest app measures respiration rate six times faster than the traditional method.

His next step will be to combine the two apps for an even better way to diagnose pneumonia.

— with files from Elaine Yong, Global News


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