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Swiss app can help smartphones detect infection

An app developed in Switzerland could soon allow people to detect symptoms of infection using their own handsets

The world’s first medical device integrated into a smartphone that can measure five vital signs to medical accuracy, the V-Sensor and e-Checkup app, is being trialled by phone companies in parallel with preparations for regulatory approval. 

Leman Micro Devices (LMD), a developer of regulated consumer healthcare products, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, says its technology measures body temperature in around 10  seconds. 

“Using only an e-Checkup-enabled smartphone, which has a thermopile built into its V-Sensor, a body temperature reading can be obtained in seconds with quick scan over the forehead,” the company said in a statement. “The accurate temperature result shows on the phone screen, no body contact is necessary; it’s a quick, one-stage process. Individuals can easily check their own temperature as well as that of others and self-quarantine if it is too high, keeping them away from the hospital or doctor’s surgery. 

“With an e-Checkup-enabled phone, and a medically accurate temperature measurement no matter where the person may be at the time, he or she can simply call a physician or helpline for advice, a vital means of infection control.”

In addition to body temperature, LMD’s V-Sensor and e-Checkup app can also measure blood pressure (cuffless and calibration-free), blood oxygen level, pulse rate and respiration rate.  

LMD CEO Mark-Eric Jones says: “e-Checkup is designed to meet all of the stringent requirements of NMPA as well as FDA and CE for safety, accuracy and reliability – no one is helped by an unreliable solution that has not been certified by regulators. The answer to better daily personal health monitoring, as well as during periods of widespread health concern such as the current Coronavirus outbreak, is about to be put into our hands, built into the smartphones we already carry every day.”  

Following the cancellation of various international events, including Mobile World Congress, amid concerns over the spread of Coronavirus, says LMD, it is deeply appropriate that one of the latest technologies in the fight against infectious diseases will soon be available on a smartphone. 

Global travel has led to rapid country-to-country spread of this latest virus and the need for accurate and rapid detection to minimise and contain the threat is on the top of every government’s agenda.  Mass screening is in place at many major airports inside and outside China to detect individuals who have a high temperature, a primary symptom. Thermal cameras enable observers to identify visually which people are hotter than others and need to be individually tested. This method demands the installation of devices and operators, backed up by medical personnel with thermometers. It’s a huge logistical and budgetary headache, causes queues and is time-consuming.

“How much easier would it be if each person’s temperature could be read with medical accuracy using only a smartphone?” asks LMD.

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