Indian digital health startup MFine has added blood pressure and glucose monitoring tools on its mobile health app.
Three weeks ago, the health tech startup launched its latest vital measurement features for beta testing after two years of development and clinical trials involving around 3,000 patients.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
According to a press statement, these health monitoring features are built with MFine’s proprietary algorithm that measures blood pressure and glucose level by obtaining PPG signals from a user’s fingertip. A smartphone camera and flash are used to observe the changes in the red and blue wavelengths of the PPG signals and come up with a reading. The company claims its algorithm for measuring BP scores an accuracy “close to 90%”.
At present, the new vital measurement features are available on the MFine app for select Android phones and will soon come to iOS devices.
WHY IT MATTERS
In India, over 200 million people with hypertension have poor access to BP monitoring tools for at-home and personal use while more than 80 million diabetic patients rely mainly on invasive and time-consuming blood tests to get their glucose reading.
While there is general availability of wearable health devices, smartphones are more common and more affordable for the population, MFine said. “Smartphones are already ubiquitous in India and it will prove to be a gamechanger in preventive health and vitals monitoring. Many people in India cannot afford expensive devices and wearables but own a smartphone which they can use now to monitor their health,” explained Dr Sreekanth Shetty, an interventional cardiologist at Sakra World Hospital.
MFine continues to leverage the power of mobile sensors and AI to transform smartphones into vital measurement tools to offer a cost-effective means for people to regularly monitor their health.
Its proprietary algorithm for measuring vital parameters has also been used in developing its blood oxygen saturation and heart rate monitoring tools which were released earlier on the MFine app.
Private Indian university Amrita University also developed a health tool to enable self-health monitoring in rural areas. Its offering is a smartphone-connected finger clip called Amrita Spandanam which can measure six body parameters, including blood glucose, blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen, respiratory rate, and 6-lead ECG.
In other news, popular wearable brands like Fitbit and Samsung have recently introduced vitals monitoring features on their smartwatches.
ON THE RECORD
Commenting on the launch of the blood pressure and glucose monitoring on the MFine app, Dr B Hygriv Rao, a senior cardiologist at KIMS Hospitals said: “It is essential for a large country like India to pioneer technologies and develop tools to ensure [that] quality care is delivered in a timely manner to all people… The preliminary demonstration of this tool appears to be encouraging and we look forward to more clinical experience and wider usage”.
“By enabling vitals monitoring through smartphones, MFine aims to make basic health assessments universal, easy, and free to use for millions of people in India. You will see more such innovations from MFine in this area in the coming months,” MFine CTO Ajit Narayanan also said.