Google Will Monitor Health Using Smartphones: Heart, Eyes Risks Can Be Detected With Phones?
On Thursday, Google announced that in order to monitor health, it plans to use smartphones. The tech giant expressed the ability to capture heart sounds and eyeball images in order to help people identify issues from home.
Head of Health AI, Greg Corrado said that a unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), is investigating whether or not the heartbeats and murmurs can be detected by the built-in microphone in the smartphone when it is placed over the chest. He said that the early detection of heart valve disorders could be enabled by these readings.
Not The Diagnosis, But The Risk Detection
Corrado said that “It’s not at the level of diagnosis but it is at the level of knowing whether there is an elevated risk”.
Using tabletop cameras in clinics, Google said that it had reported early promising results. Now, going a step further they want to figure out whether or not smartphones could show results.
The Health AI team sees a future wherein from the comfort of their own homes, people can better understand and make decisions about health conditions with the help of their doctors.
The company is also testing whether or not its AI software can analyse the ultrasound screenings (which follow a set pattern) that are taken by the less-skilled technicians.
The Issue of Skilled Labour and Birthing Parents
This would address two issue: one is the shortage of high skilled workers and other is the ease of treatment of birthing parents from the comfort of their homes.
Using the smartphone cameras, projects follow announcements last year about measuring heart and breathing rates. The smartphone camera feature is now available on many devices through the Google Fit app.
Whether or not Google’s efforts are generating significant revenue or usage is something the company has not commented upon. This questions arises as for long now, the company has sought to bring its technical expertise to health care.
He added that launching capabilities was “a major step” and adoption would take time. He said “When you think about breathing and heart rate, whatever level of adoption we see today only scratches the surface”.