by John Bennett MD

Dec 12, 2013

(ED NOTE: This app has NOT been approved by the FDA; it may be in about 6-12 months)

Pulse oximeters that measure the saturation of peripheral oxygen by analyzing the light absorption of two wavelengths of light through a fingertip or an ear have become standard in clinical environments.  They’ve become pretty small and sometimes even feature Bluetooth wireless connectivity, but the technology within them exists in its essential form in most of today’s smartphones. As a matter of fact, here’s a new video that just surfaced of what looks to be the world’s first use of a smartphone as an oximeter from a Norwegian company called digiDoc Technologies:

This app has innumerable applications, both inside the clinical settings, as well as outside the hospitals.

It will allow clinicians to measure, accurately, the blood oxygen, when no other machinery is around, in the hospital, at the bedside.  In addition, it will be possible to measure the level of oxygen anywhere outside the clinical setting; in the gym, on airplanes, on playgrounds,  etc.  To asthmatic moms it will give a good indication of the need for an ER trip; to the flying physician, it will give a good idea of the exigency of the  pulmonary status,  for the severely short-of-breath patient in-flight.

Furthermore,  it looks like this App may make the grade to be part of Shiv Gaglani’s Smartphone Physical!


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