Regular monitoring and treatment of chronic disease is vital to patient health. However, not all patients take the time to follow doctor’s orders. The perceived time and expense related to checkups and laboratory tests influence the priority patients put on healthcare.
Researchers from the Scalable Health Initiative at Rice University want to change that by creating a suite of mobile monitoring applications that patients or healthcare providers can access from a smartphone. ECE assistant professor and project PI Ashok Veeraraghavan and his team have received a $100,000 award from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to develop a personalized medical imaging tool called SMARTapps.
“We will design and develop SMARTapps – a complete mobile medical imaging system for personalized healthcare and monitoring of skin, eyes, vitals and more. SMARTapps has the potential to transform healthcare access and cost,” said Veeraraghavan.
The team’s goal is to achieve lab-quality imaging with end-user operation. To do this, the SMARTapps design will be cost effective, portable, and automatically connect to healthcare providers. The device will not require any clinical expertise for operation, and will provide a wide variety of tests on a single device. Lab work, retinal exams, skin cancer screenings and tremor monitoring would all be accessible and executable by the patient. Even some blood work could be done using a smartphone camera, with modifications, rather than visiting a lab for a blood draw.