Sure, junior looks fine sleeping on the baby-cam, but do you know her or his oxygen level, heartbeat and breathing rate, you monster? Of course not (don't worry, you're a good parent), because there's no way of monitoring such things short of hooking the poor tyke up to a pulse oxymeter. At least, until now. Philips has revealed a camera that can detect all those things from afar, without touching the patient. The fruit of the companies contactless monitoring project, it can get a pulse rate, breathing rate and blood oxygen level by detecting changes in skin color that are invisible to the naked eye.
Monitoring breathing and heartbeat (even through walls) isn't new, but Philips says it knows of no other studies focused on remote blood oxygen monitoring. The results are accurate to within two percent of traditional measuring methods, according to Philips, though it depends on several factors including the patient's skin color. "For patient populations with specific conditions, managing their care in a less intrusive way is critical in order to avoid unnecessary distress," says Philips Patient Care CEO Carla Kriwet. So far, the company hasn't revealed any plans for a product, but calls the results "promising" for the future of contactless monitoring.