FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VPG Medical, Inc. Creates Free Wellness Tracker to Help Community During COVID-19 Crisis.
The tool enables effortless detection of high heart rate, a possible sign of fever or other issues
MARCH 26, 2020 - ROCHESTER, N.Y. – VPG Medical, Inc., a Rochester-based developer of advanced solutions for the home-based health monitoring and personalized wellness markets, announced today that it has launched a free wellness tracker for Monroe County residents to use during the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. The tracker leverages the company’s HealthKam™ technology, which is an APP utilizing the embedded camera in smartphones and tablets to effortlessly track the heart rate of a person over time.
Peer-reviewed scientific studies have found that the resting heart rate of a person typically rises by 7 to 10 beats per minute for every one degree (Celsius) of a fever. As has been widely reported, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness and a dry cough. While the HealthKam tracker should not be used as a substitute for taking body temperature with a thermometer, it is uniquely suited for helping to prompt and remind an individual – based on an elevated heart rate – to take his or her temperature.
HealthKam technology quietly monitors the heart rate while people are using their smart devices at home for doing ordinary tasks (e.g., reading through emails or watching a video). It does this by detecting the very slight changes in color that occur in the facial skin when a person’s heart beats. The application then sends daily reports to the user and to that user’s authorized loved one that shows the heart rate and its trend over time. In addition to serving as an early indicator of a fever, tracking heart rate is also valuable as a sign of dangerously high-stress levels and other potential health conditions.
“Like so many others, our company wanted to do whatever we could to help our local community in its time of need,” said Dr. Jean-Philippe Couderc, chief executive officer of VPG Medical. “The COVID-19 pandemic is a health emergency and many of our older and immunocompromised neighbors will largely be staying home in the upcoming months. So we wanted to provide an advanced and simple technology for helping them and the ones close to their heart to have insight into their health status, and particularly signs of possible fevers.”
Due to the speed with which VPG Medical wanted to release this free tool in response to the crisis, this release only works on specific Samsung smart devices and is available to a limited number of users at this time. The company plans to expand availability more broadly in Monroe County and potentially beyond as quickly as possible.
VPG Medical was formed in 2018 to commercialize technologies developed at the University of Rochester and at Rochester Institute of Technology for passively detecting heart rate through camera sensors.
For more information and to sign up to use the HealthKam application during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit: http://www.vpgmedical.com/covid-19-pandemic
About VPG Medical:
VPG Medical, Inc. is a development-stage company commercializing technologies for monitoring heart rhythm and other medical information through computers and smart devices. The research underpinning the VPG Medical technology – known as HealthKam – was developed through programs funded by the National Institute of Health at the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology. HealthKam is optimized for use in home-monitoring, as well as in applications for personalized wellness and chronic care management. For more information, please visit: www.vpgmedical.com.