Sunday, September 7, 2014

Scanadu Scout

There are plenty of gadgets that monitor your fitness. Whether they track your heart rate, blood pressure or the number of steps you’ve taken, they all give you a pretty basic view of your activity. But what about your general health?

Designed by a collective of engineers, doctors and designers, the Scanadu Scout wants to be your personal electronic GP. By pressing it to your temple, the Scout will give you an accurate reading of pulse transit time, heart rate, electrical heart activity, temperature and blood oxygenation. This info in itself isn’t particularly useful, unless you’ve been nose-deep in some medical text books for the last year, so the Scout then analyses the data and tells you if you ought to head to the nearest hospital, or not.

There’ll be an add-on too, which will check your saliva for nasty bugs like streptococcus A, influenza B and adenovirus. They’re even working on an add-on to spot pregnancy complications.

All of the above is technically possible, and the collective data gathered from everyone using a Scanadu could reveal interesting trends in the state of the public’s health. But as with any mode of self-diagnosis, you should apply common sense. Either way, doctors might have to get used to hearing patients say: “I need an appointment. Scanadu says it’s serious”.

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