Phone pulse oximeter detects preeclampsia, pneumonia

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Christian Petersen and colleagues at the University of British Columbia have developed a low cost smartphone pulse oximeter.  Its light sensor attaches to a user’s fingertip to measure blood oxygen levels. Software analyzes and simply displays the data on a phone, tablet or computer.

The phone oximeter can measure heart and respiration rates, and be used in conjunction with other monitoring equipment, including blood pressure cuffs.

As it has been designed primarily to measure blood oxygen levels, researchers claim that the device and software could detect early signs of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women and diagnose pneumonia in young children.