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'Star Trek Device' Could Detect Illness

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 690 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... STAR TREK DEVICE COULD DETECT ILLNESS BBC Friday,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 23 8:11 PM
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      NHNE News List
      Current Members: 690
      Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message.


      Friday, 20 September, 2002


      British scientists have developed a Star Trek style device which measures
      vital health signs without the need for skin contact.

      Researchers at Loughborough University believe their technology could one
      day be used to measure blood flow, monitor the heart and assess how well
      wounds and burns are healing.

      The technique involves shining a light on a specific part of the body.
      Potential health problems are identified by measuring how much light is

      The technology has echoes of the devices used by doctors in the futuristic
      television series.

      The technology, developed by Professor Peter Smith and colleagues, is based
      on a conventional technique, called photoplethysmography (PPG).

      Wave measurement

      It measures how much light is absorbed by the body through pulse waves. The
      size of these waves are determined by properties in the blood and how much
      light is absorbed by the tissue.

      PPG is already used to measure blood flow in parts of the body. However, the
      difference with the Loughborough technology is that no skin contact is

      The light can be emitted and measured from a small distance. The researchers
      have developed a computer programme to take account of variations that might
      occur as a result of body movement.

      Vincent Crabtree, one of the researchers on the project, said further
      studies were needed before the technology could have a more widespread use.

      Speaking at the Photon02 conference in Cardiff, he said: "Future
      applications for this technology could be extensive.

      "However, the remote PPG signal quality has only been investigated over a
      range of several centimetres so far."


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