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New mobile can check pulse, send ambulance

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BARCELONA – A new phone developed in Singapore takes your pulse when you press your fingers on a receptor, and sends the results to a 24-hour medical call centre.

The new EPI Life mobile phone comes complete with mini electrocardiogram.

“We think it’s a revolution. It has clinical significance,” EPI medical chief Dr. Chow U-Jin said at the mobile industry’s annual conference in Barcelona.

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“Anywhere in the world you can use it as a phone but you are also able to transfer an ECG and get a reply,” Chow said.

“If you get a normal reply it will just be an SMS,” he added.

“If it’s severe, you get a call: ‘Sir, an ambulance is on the way’.”

EPI Life has three hospitals in Singapore, all of which carry the phone users’ history.

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EPI Life costs $700 (516 euros), the price of a top range smartphone, and 2,000 of them have been on the market since 2010.

“The most obvious targets are people with heart disease,” Chow said.

Depending on your health or nervous disposition you can choose from three packages offering 10, 30 or 100 tests a month.

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There is now a mini $99 version with a smaller receptor that links via Bluetooth connection to your smartphone, which is due for launch soon in Spain and France.

The EPI Life is one of a series of mobile health initiatives unveiled in Barcelona.

Many of the services rely on SMS or MMS messages that even older mobiles can receive.

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Health Company, which covers Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, sends medical information about sexuality, obesity, children’s health etc. to about 430,000 customers in Arab and English.

“You could also send a consultation through SMS,” said company vice president Fahad S. Al-Orifi.

“This SMS will go to our website where our doctor answers you to your mobile.”

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Mobile health is developing in poorer countries where it can play a crucial role, said Kazi Islam, chief executive of Grameenphone in Bangladesh.

In his country there are 156 million people and fewer than 3,000 hospitals but 66 million people have access to a mobile phone.

“Most women don’t have access to information of health. Seventy-five percent of women from 15 to 24 have never heard of STIs (sexually transmitted infections),” he said.

“With a simple SMS we are sending information to expectant mothers. This is a necessary help”.

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Facebook suspends ‘tens of thousands’ of apps in privacy review

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Facebook said Friday it suspended "tens of thousands" of apps on its platform as a result of a privacy practices review launched following a scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

The review started in 2018 after revelations that the political consultancy hijacked personal data on millions of Facebook users, and it included attorneys, external investigators, data scientists, engineers, policy specialists and others, according to a Facebook statement.

The suspensions are "not necessarily an indication that these apps were posing a threat to people," said vice president of partnerships Ime Archibong, adding that some developers "did not respond to our request for information."

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Twitter closes thousands of fake news accounts worldwide

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Twitter said Friday it has closed down thousands of accounts across the world for spreading fake news as well as pro-government propaganda, including in places like the United Arab Emirates, China and Spain.

Accounts coming from China seeking to sow discord among protesters in Hong Kong were closed down, as were accounts amplifying a pro-Saudi message coming from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates directed at Qatar and Yemen, Twitter said.

Fake news accounts were also suspended in Spain and Ecuador

The information release is part of the company's push to improve understanding of how its platform is used by state actors to manipulate public opinion.

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Is a strange Twitter glitch censoring the left?

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The Working Families Party, a New York-based progressive political party, has a reputation befitting its name as a left-populist political organization. So when the organization endorsed the center-left Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren — who was once a hardcore Republican and has emphasized her capitalist credentials — over the explicitly democratic socialist candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sanders (I-Vt.) supporters were understandably disappointed. After all, the party overwhelmingly endorsed Sanders in the previous presidential election. What had changed?

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