New Smart Phone App Could Save Thousands of Lives
In development now, this $40 device uses your smart phone to provide low cost blood oxygen testing levels, allowing home testing for those with COPD and asthma.
Pulse oximetry has been used in operating rooms since 1980 by anesthesiologists to monitor oxygen saturation in the patient’s blood while anesthetized. This new smart phone add-on raises the prospect for providing pulse oximetry in the field, during home visits, or by self -administration. The result: pulse oximetry no longer restricted to hospitals and clinics.
Developed in Canada the makers of the device, Lions Gate Technologies, gathered an early round investment from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and have recently gathered $1 million inputs each from Coleco Investments (private capital) and Grand Challenges Canada (government funding). Wide application of the device is seen as having the widest effect in treating and diagnosing pneumonia, pre-eclampsia, and sepsis.
Pre-eclampsia, (formerly called “toxemia”) is a condition that develops in pregnancy, usually after the 32th week of pregnancy, is more common in first pregnancies, and is often asymptomatic. Pre-eclampsia affects 6-8% of all pregnancies worldwide. In those cases where it progresses to eclampsia, the condition is potentially life threatening, causing as many as 1600 deaths in women and their babies per day.
With the new funding just announced, further development of the Phone Oximeter will continue with early testing on 80,000 women in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Mozambique.
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