The Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has unveiled a new health monitoring camera that can be mounted on a wall to enable constant, contactless screening. The aptly-named HealthCam has not yet been cleared for commercial use, though it is going through the regulatory review process and a prototype of the product is on display in Mitsubishi’s virtual CES exhibit.
Once installed, the HealthCam will sit on a wall and read the vital signs of everyone who stands in front of the device. The camera uses thermal detection and facial recognition technologies to capture metrics like body temperature, blood oxygen level, and respiration rate, and only needs a line of sight with the subject in order to generate a reading. The actual results can be displayed on the device itself to let subjects know more about their current condition.
According to Mitsubishi, the HealthCam also has basic event detection capabilities. As it relates to health care, that means that the camera can tell when someone is choking, having trouble breathing, or collapses unexpectedly, and then send an alert to someone in a better position to respond. That gives it potential utility as a continuous monitoring tool in nursing homes, office buildings, fitness centers, hospitals, and other settings that are open to the public.
Mitsubishi is eventually planning to release both a residential and commercial version of the new device. The commercial HealthCam is expected to be a bit more robust, in the sense that it will be able to scan a larger area and track a larger number of people simultaneously. The residential camera, on the other hand, is designed for in-home use, and will not scale as well for larger facilities.
“The number of applications for a 24/7 health surveillance system is virtually limitless,” said Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs Computer Vision Group Manager Alan Sullivan. “With the rapidly emerging trend toward distributed, remote health, HealthCam fills a gap in the marketplace, offering a reliable, non-invasive product that promotes more positive medical outcomes based on early detection of peoples’ health problems.”
Mitsubishi’s computer vision technology previously appeared in an in-car driver monitoring system that could read the vital signs (and drowsiness levels) of people on the road. The HealthCam is one of several new health monitoring solutions on display at CES. For example, the smart lighting specialist Sengled has unveiled a new connected lightbulb that uses radar technology to evaluate someone’s condition.