A smartphone app to measure oxygen saturation may help patients suffering from chronic cardiopulmonary diseases accurately monitor their health, particularly for early warning signs of declining health status. Results from a recent study on the app are described in the journal Telemedicine and e-Health.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed the MoveSense app to measure oxygen saturation without the use of a pulse oximeter in conjunction with the six-minute walk test in 20 patients with cardiopulmonary disease. The participants wore pulse oximeters for comparison and carried smartphones running MoveSense software, which continuously recorded saturation and motion. Eight gait parameters were computed using sensor data on the continuous motion and the existing gait model was trained with these data points to predict transitions in oxygen saturation.

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Oxygen saturation readings were categorized as consistently high saturation, consistently low saturation, and varied saturation (clinically unstable patients). Analysis of the saturation with the gait data could predict saturation category with 100% accuracy; the model used a voting scheme to account for patients walking faster and slower as their hearts and lungs struggle to keep up with demand.

This new capability to predict the saturation category of the patient internally from motion of the patient externally could allow clinicians to monitor vital signs, predict clinically stability, and act quickly should conditions decline, the authors concluded.

For more information visit Illinois.edu.