Webcam Created by MIT Grad Student Can Tell if Your Heart is Healthy

Oct 4, 2010
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Finding out if your healthy or not usually entails a doctor's visit, or two, but thanks to a grad student at MIT, the process could get a lot easier. Ming-Zher Poh, the grad student, has made it possible for an every-day webcam, with some slight modifications, to tell how healthy you, and your heart are, just by looking at you. There's no need to hook yourself up to any machine, or test your blood. Just look at the webcam, and you'll have your result displayed to you.

According to MIT, Poh managed to make his camera "learn" how to study someone's face, and then measure "slight variations in brightness produced by the flow of blood through blood vessels in the face." In the design stage, this was the step that caused Poh the most trouble, but as soon as he figured out how to account for variations in lighting and image quality, everything else came together.

And, while it may seem like a gimmick, it isn't. According to tests, the webcam was able to come to the same results as FDA-approved pieces of technology. It only gets better when Poh reveals that he has only used technology you can find in most homes, and hasn't been working with some government grants using never before seen tech. The result, of course, is the possibility that this system could easily be installed in homes, or hospitals, or anywhere else for that matter pretty easily.

Poh believes that this new webcam-based system would be a lot more preferable to patients, where putting on sensors may not be the route they want to go. Something as simple as a webcam, put anywhere, could mean that patients all over the world are a lot more comfortable when they go into the doctor's office. But, Poh believes that this technology could be used to expand on this idea, and even tell when you're lying about something, or nervous. Check out the video below to see how the webcam would work installed in your normal bathroom mirror.

[via Fast Company]


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