VPG Medical Inc., a local developer for home-based health monitoring and personalized wellness markets, announced today that it has created a free wellness tracker for Monroe County residents to use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company was formed in 2018 to bring University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology technologies to market for heart rate detection through camera sensors. VPG’s new tracker uses the company’s HealthKam technology, an app that uses smartphone and tablet cameras to track a person’s heart rate over a period of time.
HealthKam silently monitors a person’s heart rate while they are using their smart devices by detecting slight changes in facial color that occur as the heart beats. The app sends daily reports to the user, showing their heart rate’s trend over time.
According to scientific studies, the resting heart rate of a person rises, on average, by seven to 10 beats per minute for every one degree Celsius of a fever. Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. VPG is not suggesting that HealthKam should be used as a substitute for using a thermometer to measure body temperature, however, the tracker can help prompt an individual to take their temperature based on an elevated heart rate.
“Like so many others, our company wanted to do whatever we could to help our local community in its time of need,” said Jean-Philippe Couderc, CEO of VPG Medical. “The
COVID-19 pandemic is a health emergency and many of our older and immunocompromised
neighbors will largely be staying home in the upcoming months. We wanted to provide an
advanced and simple technology for helping them and the ones close to their heart to have
insight into their health status and particularly signs of possible fevers.”
VPG Medical has been working quickly to release this free resource amid the coronavirus pandemic, so the app currently works on specific Samsung smart devices and is available to a limited number of users at this time. The company is working to expand availability in Monroe County and beyond as soon as possible.
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