Traditionally, there is only one way to measure a pulse — until Japanese tech company Fujitsu entered the picture and created a new tool that can calculate pulse rate based on changes in facial brightness….via smart phone, tablet or PC camera. We already have the ability to scan thermal body temperature at a distance digitally, and now with the new pulse scanning technology, implications for public health (and personal privacy) arise.
For example, we can increase early detection of cardiac conditions by allowing an individual to electronically self-monitor their pulse for irregularities in real-time from their phone — the data could be subsequently analyzed by a physician. These technologies could also be used in biosecurity, to scan for ill or febrile individuals in crowded places, in which their thermal body temperatures and/or heart rates would be potentially unknowingly scanned.
These advances continue to revolutionize the way we practice medicine and move us toward a new paradigm in public health and security. Such technologies are ripe for partnering with mapping applications, improving the detail to which we can visualize illness trends.
Oksana Hucul, Public Health Liaison, firstname.lastname@example.org