Together the Electrical and Computer Engineering in Medicine (ECEM) research group and the Pediatric Anesthesia Research Team (PART) at the University of British Columbia have developed a pulse oximeter that works with the iPhone and other mobile devices. The instrument is meant to be used at home by people with respiratory problems and can measure both your pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation.
Readings are stored and sent over the internet to your doctor's office or the hospital. The research team has already used the iPhone version of the oximeter in trials at Vancouver General Hospital and in Uganda. Read on for a campy video that shows the pulse oximeter in action.
Pulse oximeters are vital tools in emergency and trauma medicine and in the treatment of respiratory illness like COPD or emphysema, as they can measure the relative level of oxygenation in a patient's blood in a non-invasive manner. Consumer-grade standalone units are available for less than $50.