Mobile Devices Can Facilitate Universal Vital Sign Monitoring

Could promote access to pulse oximetry, allowing diagnostic and tx applications into every home

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Mobile devices are well suited to provide universal access to the monitoring of vital signs, according to a review published in the October issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

J. Mark Ansermino, M.B.B.Ch., from the British Columbia Children's Hospital in Vancouver, Canada, discusses the promotion of use of mobile devices as pulse oximetry monitors.

Ansermino notes that certain barriers need to be overcome to make mobile devices a viable alternative for vital sign monitors, including a universal method for connecting sensors to devices; procedures to ensure the reliability of measured variables; and the battery life and cell phone display size of some cellphones. However, the portability of cellphones makes them suitable as spot-check devices, and the inexpensive mobile application development and distribution environment provide the opportunity for developing a range of applications to support sensors, including those for pulse oximetry. This would allow for universal access to pulse oximetry, combining supportive diagnostic and treatment applications in all medical settings and homes. Communication channels could allow the mobile device to leverage social interaction and media to engage patients and health care providers in a new health care delivery model.

"The widespread availability of pulse oximetry on mobile devices will realize the potential of pulse oximetry as both a monitoring and diagnostic tool in a wide range of clinical settings," Ansermino writes.

The author disclosed financial ties to GE Medical and LionsGate Technology.

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Physician's Briefing