Vital signs provide medical professionals with the first signs of ill health. Measuring them can assess a person's health, indicate the presence of underlying diseases, and determine whether treatments are working. AI can capture and extract a person's vital signs, including heart rate, heart rate variability, oxygen saturation, and more, using the camera of a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, all in one minute.
Israel's Binah.ai's health data platform is powered by artificial intelligence and is a pure software solution, meaning it requires no additional wearable devices or other dedicated hardware. The results are delivered to the user in a simple and accessible numeric format.
"We want to make the world a healthier place," said David Maman, the company's founder and chief executive.
As many as 60 percent of humanity did not have access to the care they needed, according to the World Health Organization. Most Western countries, including Israel, have about three doctors for every 1,000 people. In many Middle Eastern countries, there is only one doctor for every 10,000 people. In other places, such as parts of Africa, it's one in 30,000. But while some countries may lack doctors, people often have smartphones.
The system is operated using remote photoplethysmography (rPPG). PPG is a simple, inexpensive optical measurement method that was first mentioned in the late 1930s. RPPG, on the other hand, is "a camera-based contactless cardiovascular monitoring solution proven to be just as accurate as traditional PPG devices. Our technology measures changes in red, green, and blue light reflected by the skin and quantifies the contrast between specular and diffuse, "the company's website explains. The users can send the scan results to his or her insurance company or doctor.
Binah. aims to make people healthier but is also using its devices to help companies assess their customers' health. Its software is already used by seven of the world's top 100 insurance companies, which ask their users to confirm their vital signs to help determine a customer's health and set premiums. Maman says 50 customers are using the technology, which provides measurements of eight vital signs. The long-term goal is to provide up to 25 vital signs.
Getting medical device approval would "greatly increase the credibility of the system," Mr. Maman said. "Our goal is to make everything medical-grade," he said. In the future, he could imagine primary care doctors wanting to use the software as an effective means of preventive medicine. For example, a week of elevated resting heart rate could be a sign of increased mortality, and doctors can spot this warning sign early and advise their patients.
"It's not just the interpretation of vital signs, but what they mean," Maman said. Biotechnology, he added, is not only "the next big thing, but it's also everything."
Healthcare had been neglected, he said, and the coronavirus crisis had brought the sector back to the forefront. It has also pushed healthcare professionals to embrace telemedicine and digital devices in ways never before seen. Israel, he predicts, could emerge as a leader in the arena.
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