Javier Hernandez Rivera of Rosalind Picard‘s Affective Computing Group at MIT is developing a health monitoring phone that does not require a wearable. BioPhone derives biological signals from a phone’s accelerometer, which the team says captures small body movements that result from one’s heart beating and chest rising and falling.
Hernandez said that BioPhone is meant to gather data during still moments, simplifying the capture of small vibrations without having to account for many body movements. He believes that this can detect stress, which could trigger the phone to provide breathing exercises, or notify a loved one to call.
12 subjects sat, stood, and lied down, before and after pedaling a bike, with a smartphone in their pocket. To compare results, they wore sensors to capture heart and breathing rates. Heart rates reported by smartphone data alone were off by 1 beat per minute, and breathing rates were off by 1/4 of a breath per minute.
MIT Technology Review reported that the findings were questioned by a U of Alabama mobile health expert, who believes that results will be affected by signal noise from inadvertent motions.
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