Caltech runs a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program where students work on special projects. As part of a cell phone medicine project, the students have spent their summer developing and fine-tuning prototypes that could someday enable a 10-cent medical checkup for developing or remote regions.
The article says: “Using an Android phone as the base, the team is striving to create an array of medical devices that can connect to a cell phone and perform basic medical tests, including blood pressure evaluation, temperature readings, and heart monitoring. Existing cell phone-compatible prototypes encompass a cable-mounted stethoscope head that features a microphone and electronics encased in an aluminum enclosure as well as a device resembling an oven mitt that incorporates three piezoelectric sensors. When wearing the mitt, users can press it against their chest to record heart rhythms and the electrical signals for an ECG.”
Read the article here: Students Strive to Develop ’10-Cent Medical Checkup’ Using Cell Phones | Qmed.
Originally planned for India and other countries with a low density of medical doctors, such an approach could also help reducing the costs in our ever-inflating healthcare budgets.
The next time you see someone next to you on the train with cables running from his phone he might not be listening to his iTunes library but be in a medical check-up.