Meet Oxehealth, a startup that plans to turn any regular security camera into a health monitor. The British company wants to make it easier to monitor patients in a hospital, police station, psychiatric hospital or an assisted living residence. It’s a non-intrusive way to make sure that everybody is doing well. The startup is launching onstage at Disrupt London.
Finger pulse oximeters are the easiest way to check your vital signs right now. While they’re incredibly accurate and convenient, you also need to wear them on your finger at all times. Oxehealth thinks there’s a better way to do the same thing.
The startup uses the same technique, but with any modern digital video camera. Even when the camera is across the room, the camera can detect skin color changes and accurately read a heartbeat. It can also track breathing activity by looking at the movements of the chest.
And if you want to get technical, Oxehealth uses computer vision, machine learning and signal processing to derive vital signs. This proprietary algorithm is patented. Oxehealth CEO Hugh Lloyd-Jukes showed a live demo on stage at Disrupt with a standard 2 megapixel camera.
This is particularly useful in specific scenarios, such as psychiatric hospitals. You want to make sure that your patients are not trying to hurt themselves, but at the same time, you don’t want to tell them to put an oximeter on their fingers.
Oxehealth doesn’t want to get into hardware — the company only wants to provide the software platform. So it means that you can turn your existing surveillance cameras with processing boards into Oxehealth cameras. The startup wants to sell recurring subscriptions with a software-as-a-service approach.
In addition to these very specific buildings, you could imagine bigger applications. For instance, elderly people could potentially live on their own for longer if there’s a product that can check that they’re doing fine. The startup will need to set a good track record first, but Oxehealth could end up serving a big market with a useful technical innovation.