Bengaluru-based digital startup which recently launched an app-based blood oxygen saturation monitoring tool, will also now look to expand it to other vital signs such as blood pressure and heart beat monitoring. Right after a few months into the pandemic the company saw how there was an increased need as well as shortage of pulse oximeters. "We worked with hospital partners by creating a dummy tool to read reflected light from the fingers and measuring with the pulse oximeter," said Ajit Narayanan, CTO, Mfine, explaining how the tool evolved.
MFine's proprietary algorithm measures the oxygen saturation using a smartphone camera. A photoplethysmogram (PPG) signal is obtained from the user's fingertip using the smartphone camera. The PPG is an optically obtained plethysmogram that can be used to detect blood volume changes in the microvascular bed of tissue. The LED illuminates the skin and the smartphone camera measures the changes in light absorption. The signal is then broken down into red, blue and green parts and using the difference in levels of light absorbed across these different wavelengths, SPO2 is calculated by a machine learning algorithm. Driven by platform data, the AI technology has 80 per cent medical grade accuracy, the company claims.
Currently with a user base of around 2 million, a monthly active user base of 80,000 and 12,000 daily consultations, the company offers tele-consultation, e-diagnostics and medicine delivery. In addition, they also offer care plans to manage several ailments. The company does not look to monetise the self-assessment tools. "We will extend that also to do BP and heart rate variability from the light signal, we will keep the health tools free," added Ajit hoping that the self-assessment lowers the entry barrier and through early warning signs lower risks.