Other than fishing for compliments, the selfie camera on your phone can find plenty more purposes. With Binah.ai’s latest app, measuring blood pressure with your phone camera could soon become one of them. This company has announced the app that does it just by observing you through your smartphone or laptop camera. However, there are some obstacles to overcome before the official launch.
Binah.ai offers AI-based video monitoring solutions in its health and wellness app. The blood pressure measuring should become the latest addition to the app and help you monitor the changes without fiddling with special devices or visiting a doctor. With this approach, you can read out your blood pressure measurements and other vitals without a smartwatch, a finger clip, a cuff, or any other additional dedicated hardware. All you need to do is open the app on your phone or laptop and let it film your face for a minute.
So, what’s the trick? The magic behind this is called photoplethysmography (PPG), an optical technique that analyzes the reflection of light that returns to the camera from a bare skin region on a human face. Binah.ai pairs it with AI and deep learning algorithms, including computer vision technology and signal processing, to provide you with the result.
This sure sounds amazing and it could make blood pressure measuring more available for everyone. Of course, it would be especially useful to those with chronic heart or blood pressure conditions. However, it’s still not the most accurate method there is. Far from it, actually.
PPG-based metrics can track changes in blood pressure. However, it’s challenging to use them to calculate the raw numbers without a baseline for calibration. Then, the approach could face challenges with different skin tones. After all, we’ve already seen some racial (and gender) bias in other AI-based tools.
Speaking to The Verge, Jordana Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “I think it’s potentially feasible this technology could be used in the future, but have not seen evidence to suggest that this technology is at all ready for reliably checking blood pressure at this time.”
Still, it’s an interesting and potentially good approach for monitoring blood pressure. Binah.ai said that the company will perform a more extensive clinical trial starting late February. With that data, the company will ask approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the tool to be used for medical purposes.
[via The Verge]