New patents signal dawn of optical health biometrics scanners in smartphones

heartbeat - ECG EKG biometrics

Innovative and convenient health monitoring tools are set to enter smartphones as the health biometrics industry sees continued growth. While Samsung revealed that it may introduce blood pressure scanners into its Galaxy Fold line of smartphones, Riva Health has introduced an innovative method of measuring blood pressure that could be deployed to Apple’s iPhones.

Riva Health developing biometric blood pressure scanner for iPhones

U.S.-based startup Riva Health is tackling hypertension by introducing a futuristic biometric health scanner using the iPhone camera’s flash. Users are prompted to place their fingertip on top of the camera, which will then scan the user’s arteries with the flash. After the results are calculated, users can view them on Riva Health’s mobile app, which can display health metrics such as blood pressure and heart rate.

Tuhin Sinha, who invented the scanning solution, explains; “Despite how far the fingertip is from your heart, it has a lot of arteries. So when your heart beats, there’s a huge volume of blood coming through. It’s almost like a sound wave, toggling between expansive and compressive. That’s the blood pulse waveform.”

According to Wired, Riva Health is hoping for its news solution to be validated and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The approval will be eagerly awaited as the industry is facing an oncoming stampede of competitors that use similar techniques to measure blood pressure, such as Biospectal and another company named Riva.

Riva Health’s CEO is Dag Kittlaus, who led Siri prior to its sale to Apple, and the company has set a target price of $1,500 per year to track a condition that affects nearly half of all U.S. adults.

Wired notes the enormous potential market for biometric health monitoring that leverages the sensors in mobile phones, rather than requiring specialized equipment, as blood pressure monitoring does.

Samsung patent filing reveals health biometrics scanners for possible future Galaxy devices

According to a new patent application, Samsung could soon be adding health biometrics to its future Galaxy Fold smartphone devices, writes Patently Apple. The filing includes specifications for specialty sensors that can measure vital signs such as blood pressure, arterial stiffness, vascular age, aortic pressure waveform, stress index, vascular compliance, and fatigue.

According to the report, biometric health sensors differ from traditional cuffed devices as they can measure blood pressure through pulse transit time (PTT) and pulse wave analysis (PWA).

Samsung’s patent illustrations describe how users would measure their health biometrics by simultaneously placing two fingers on their Galaxy Fold device. The two fingers will each provide information such as PWAs, which are then compared to one another. In the next step, these two readings are calculated to establish the PTT. The device then estimates the bio-information based on the PTT and finally outputs the estimation result.

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