In the future, monitor your vital statistics at home via webcam. The New York Times Magazine’s 10th annual “Year in Ideas” features what’s called the Cardiocam. It’s a webcam that can take your heart rate by measuring slight variations in your skin tone. The idea is that patients can monitor their own vital statistics easily, every day, and notice any deviations in their health. The Cardiocam was invented by a team of researchers at the MIT media lab. Watch their video.
In the video, you might have noticed a man casually washing his face and looking into a mirror. The mirror measured his vital signs, and then allowed him to check in with his doctor. How did he do that? It’s a stunning invention from Ming-Zher Poh, a member of the Cardiocam team, called a “medical mirror.” The mirror is actually a two-way mirror with a computer monitor behind it. The computer has a built-in camera to serve as the Cardiocam, and if it’s connected to the internet, it can transmit your data to your doctor. Poh explains how it works.
The New York Times “Year in Ideas” is out this weekend, with a cool interactive feature online now. Poh and his colleagues continue to develop the Cardiocam and medical mirror’s capabilities and accuracy – meaning, they won’t be on shelves in time for Christmas.
Learning to love science. As a producer for EarthSky, Lindsay Patterson interviews some of the world's most fascinating scientists. Through EarthSky, her work content is syndicated on some of the world's top media websites, including USAToday.com and Reuters.com. Patterson is also charged with helping to stay in steady communication with the thousands of scientists who contribute to EarthSky's work of making the voice of science heard in a noisy world. She graduated from Colorado College with a degree in creative writing, and a keen interest in all forms of journalism and media.