New technology allows vital signs to be checked via webcam

Webcam software developed by a new Oxford University spin-out company will offer a simple, non-invasive way of monitoring patients' vital signs.

OxeHealth, set-up by the University's technology transfer company Isis Innovation, is working on software that will detect a patient's , respiratory rate and even in artificial light without the need for any physical contact or additional hardware. The firm, spun out of Oxford University's Institute of , will receive up to £500,000 in funding from IP Group.

'Our research has transformed the ubiquitous webcam into a non-contact sensor for monitoring the most important vital signs,' said Professor Tarassenko, Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering. 'Our close collaboration with biomedical scientists in the University and in the NHS Trust has enabled rapid translation from the lab to the ward. We believe that our webcam software offers a step change in the way that the health of individuals can be assessed in the home or the hospital.'

The software has been validated in a clinical study with patients in the Oxford Kidney Unit, showing that respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation can all be monitored accurately with a remote webcam.

Tom Hockaday, MD of Isis Innovation, said: 'OxeHealth's product has the potential to make major healthcare improvements by reducing the number of times patients need to visit the doctor, and allowing doctors to adjust treatments quickly in response to real-time monitoring.'

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust Chief Executive, Sir Jonathan Michael said: 'We are delighted that OxeHealth is the first spin-out directly linked with the Trust. The study in our Unit was essential to demonstrate that the technology works in a , for the benefit of patients. Oxehealth is another example of the many innovative opportunities which the partnership between the Trust and the University is making possible.'

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer of IP Group said: 'Digital health is an exciting and growing area and IP Group is pleased to support OxeHealth as it seeks to develop new products that could transform healthcare and patient monitoring.'

Over the coming months, OxeHealth will refine its technology for remote monitoring of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder and other chronic disease patients in their homes. 

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Spin-out targets better cancer treatment

Jan 25, 2012

A new Oxford University spin-out firm, Oxford Cancer Biomarkers Limited, is to develop technology to ensure that only patients who are likely to benefit from anti-cancer drugs will receive them and that the best treatment ...

Start-up finds online meaning

Feb 15, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Software developed at Oxford University that accurately assesses what people mean from what they say online will provide a valuable ‘sentiment analysis’ tool for businesses, particularly ...

Hold the phone for vital signs

Oct 06, 2011

An iPhone app that measures the user's heart rate is not only a popular feature with consumers, but it sparked an idea for a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) researcher who is now turning smart phones, ...

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

11 hours ago

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

Italy scraps ban on donor-assisted reproduction

Apr 09, 2014

Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a Catholic Church-backed ban against assisted reproduction with sperm or egg donors that has forced thousands of sterile couples to seek help abroad.

User comments