Scientists discover way to measure blood pressure via selfie videos

Shazma Khan August 8, 2019

Soon enough, you will be able to measure your blood pressure simply by taking a selfie video instead of going to a doctor, as per a newly developed imaging technology.

Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that a selfie video might be everything you need to do to measure your blood pressure by developing a new technology dubbed as ‘transdermal optical imagine’ (TOI).

The technology works by taking into account the fact our facial skin is translucent, as per Engadget. Smartphones are equipped with optical sensors that can capture light reflected from hemoglobin beneath our skin. This lets TOI to visualize and also measure the changes in our blood flow.

You can now conduct ultrasounds with your smartphone

To test the technology, the team used TOI to analyze two-minute selfie videos of 1,328 adults captured with an iPhone. In comparison to the traditional ways of measuring blood pressure, the team was able to measure three types of blood pressure with some 95% accuracy. Also, TOI is able to analyze face in pre-recorded videos too.


Video Courtesy: University Toronto/YouTube

“From the video captured by the technology, you can see how the blood flows in different parts of the face and through this ebb and flow of blood in the face, you can get a lot of information,” said Kang Lee, lead author of the study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Lee is also the co-founder of a startup Nuralogix that released an app called Anura. The app lets people try out TOI for themselves, enabling them to record a 30-second video of their face and receive measurements for stress levels and resting heart rate, reported Fox News.

Lee said that further research is required to ensure that the measurements are as precise as possible, since the study did not test people with very dark or very fair skin complexion. The team also said that there are many future applications for the tech, including providing health services for people who live in remote, rural areas with limited access. Also, it can help people at risk of hypertension- or hypotension-related illnesses in order to track their blood pressure without requiring any dedicated device.

“If you set up a computer or your phone, you can get a doctor who is, let’s say, in Toronto and then you can talk to each other and diagnose simultaneously,” Lee said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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