03 2015

Telemedicine, that provides clinical healthcare at a distance and is restricted to video conferencing between patients and doctors, could soon be a thing of the past. An Indian team is close to developing an electrical device that can diagnose 15 different medical conditions and can monitor vital signs for around 72 hours.

Chennai-based American Megatrends India is developing a medical hand-held scanner that is worthy to be included in the television show Star Trek. The popular science fictional series had a tricorder, a multi-functional device used for sensor scanning, data analysis, and recording data.

Trial stage

Team Danvantri, the corporate team from American Megatrends India, is in the penultimate stage of testing its version of the tricorder, a portable, wireless device that can be held in the palm of one’s hand, and one that monitors and diagnoses health conditions.

The only Indian team participating in the Qualcomm Tricorder Xprize, Team Danvantri is competing for the $10-million prize with a gadget that empowers personal healthcare. Speaking to BusinessLine, Vivek Viswanathan of American Megatrends India, said the team is a few steps closer to bringing the product to life.

“Currently, we are testing the tricorder (gadget) for electrical safety issues. Medical devices need to be tested under rigorous ISO electrical safety standards,” said the Technologist from the Embedded Systems Group at American Megatrends India (AMI). “We are checking to see if the gadget is safe for humans to operate,” he added. American Megatrends is into BIOS, remote management and data storage innovations.

Health monitoring

“We are also focussed on health care, though we are in diverse areas such as board and device level design and integration, mobile app and interface design, as well as software development,” said Viswanathan.

American Megatrends’ medical device is a wireless health monitoring tool that can monitor a battery of vital statistics that include blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate and temperature, as well as atrial fibulation, sleep apnea, stroke, diabetes, etc. The device can collect large volumes of data from ongoing measurement of health states through a combination of wireless sensors, imaging technologies, and portable, non-invasive techniques. The stream of data generated will be stored in the cloud, currently on AMI’s own servers, with plans afoot to work with major cloud operators such as Apple and Google.

Team leader Viswanathan insists the medical device has been wholly funded by AMI. “It is completely self-funded. The device will ensure unprecedented access to personal health care,” he added.