A few years ago, when the selfie ceased to be equated with a sham, and began to serve, among others, as a means of earning money, hardly anyone would have thought that he might have more lofty goals. Researchers from the University of Toronto and the University Hospital at Hangzhou University are conducting research proving that the fashion for taking videos and photos of yourself can bring a lot of medical benefits to smartphone users. How? It turns out that it is possible to measure pressure while making a short video – and without any additional tools. All you need is the light emitted by the phone screen. Reading this type of data from the photo is not 100% possible yet, but the video in “selfie” mode provides enough information to be able to assess a person’s blood pressure. More specifically, this method uses the reflection of light from the skin. On its basis, the condition of proteins in the skin (including hemoglobin) is checked. 900 photos are analyzed for changes and a special application takes about 30 seconds. Using machine learning algorithms, scientists are able to translate the obtained measurements into data on blood pressure in the body. So far, the accuracy of the results obtained has oscillated around 95%! The study group, although more than 1,300 people, consisted only of Europeans and residents of East Asia, and thus – no tests were carried out on people with darker skin color. As a result, scientists are unsure how the app will handle skin rebound data with higher melanin levels. It may affect the reception of information on hemoglobin, so it is not known whether the accuracy index will still be so high. In theory, the whole process should be the same without any problems, but studies of people with darker skin tones are needed to finally confirm the meaning of the entire mechanism. If the application is released to the market and we can measure the pressure only using a smartphone, there will certainly be a kind of breakthrough in the technological and medical industry, but also in the lives of each of us. Although nowadays blood pressure monitors are quite common and many people have them in their homes for private use, the phone may prove to be much more convenient and replace traditional blood pressure monitors if the effectiveness of the tested application is confirmed.
A professional writer by day, a tech-nerd by night, with a love for all things money.