MIT Media Lab's Medical Mirror Can Read Your Pulse

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Wish you could check your vital stats while brushing your teeth? Thanks to innovations by MIT PhD student Ming-Zher Poh, reading your pulse and other vital stats may someday be as easy as standing in your bathroom. Working with public-domain software, Poh developed a way to measure the pulse by analyzing subjects sitting in front of a two-way mirror.

The MIT Media Lab Medical Mirror is equipped with a computer monitor with a built-in camera that tracks changes in brightness produced by blood flow through the vessels in the face; so stopping by the mirror each morning feeds new information for the system to analyze.

While the Medical Mirror can currently only provide pulse readings, Poh hopes further work will allow him to obtain blood pressure and blood oxygen measurements from the same images. Poh’s concept could not only help monitor patients’ health—minus the wires and physical sensors—it could also help doctors keep better track of their patients without costly office visits.

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