Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science Engineering & Electrical Engineering Shwetak Patel was spotlighted in the first episode of GeekWire’s Health Tech Podcast. Through his startup Senosis Health, Patel is transforming smartphones into medical devices.
GeekWire’s podcast focuses on the stories of digital health innovation and the fantastic minds that make it happen. For Patel, his re-purposing of smartphones to mimic medical devices not only illustrates innovative vision; it also promotes societally-focused design.
Current medical equipment that measures disease function is costly and is not always easily accessible, especially for resource-poor nations. As smartphones become increasingly more ubiquitous, the functionality of a smartphone as a medical device becomes beneficial.
“Our idea has been: How do we repurpose the sensors that are already on a mobile phone to do similar things that you would find in a clinician’s office or at a hospital? And so, we’re looking at how to use microphones, the camera, the flash, the accelerometer, the gyro in new ways that people never used them before,” Patel said in the GeekWire article.
Patel has innovated these standard smartphone applications to build an arsenal of health monitoring apps, including Bilicam, which detects newborn jaundice, SpiroCall, which measures lung function and HemaApp, which records blood hemoglobin levels. These devices support monitoring for a range of diseases and conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma and anemia.
Listen to more of the interview below:
Information for this news was adapted from a recent article in GeekWire.