May 17, 2020

Microsoft files a patent for a new innovative blood pressure monitor

Health technology
Digital health
Health Tracking
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Technology giants have been increasingly moving towards the healthcare sector, and Microsoft is no exception.

From providing medical solutions for dia...

Technology giants have been increasingly moving towards the healthcare sector, and Microsoft is no exception.

From providing medical solutions for diabetes suffers, to the launch of new health wearables, such as Fitbits and Apple Watches, tech companies have sought to partner with health experts to deliver products and services which cater to the needs of its target audiences.

Microsoft has recently filed a patent for its new innovative blood pressure monitoring system, which could be set to revolutionise traditional medical tools. Instead of old-fashioned oscillometric blood pressure devices, Microsoft’s patent encompasses eyeglasses, which harness optical sensors to enable continuous monitoring, providing greater control to users.

Developed by Microsoft’s Research division, chief designers Christian Holz and Edward Wang have released a report detailing the advantages of the new product.

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Named Glabella, the head mounted device will be embedded with sensors, which will be placed at arterial locations to effectively measurer a user’s pulse waves, providing increased accuracy in comparison with traditional digital tools. The device will also work as an activity tracker by capturing essential data.

Through a global trial, the paper has revealed that the prototype will effectively measure pulse transit time and systolic blood pressure, to deliver accurate blood pressure readings, but interestingly not diastolic pressure, which is normally required to detect any cardiac abnormalities.

Noting that the eyeglasses are heavier than traditional eyewear, Microsoft will aim to build a lighter prototype and explore ways to develop the technology further.

Microsoft has ramped up its investment in healthcare, and has also recently partnered with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to further improve patient care.

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Jun 18, 2021

Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool 

2 min
Skin Analytics uses AI to detect skin cancer and will be deployed across the NHS to ease patient backlogs

An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system. 

NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion. 

Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making. 

In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog. 

Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening. 

DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.

Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges. 

"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”

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