The burden of chronic diseases is massive – in the UK 15 million people have a long-term condition and those diseases are responsible for 41 million (71%) of global deaths annually – a huge financial cost to health and care providers, businesses, taxpayers and societies and a very significant cause of distress to humanity.
Regular vital sign monitoring is proven to improve chronic disease patient outcomes. Regular vital sign monitoring is not widely practised as patients in developed world countries find existing monitoring methods time-consuming and uncomfortable, and patients in emerging countries do not have access to the medical equipment needed.
In development for over 4 years, Lifelight has been created by xim Ltd, a digital health technology company with extensive experience in eHealth.
Lifelight is a game-changing technology that allows any smartphone or tablet device to measure blood pressure, pulse and breathing rate simply by a patient looking into the device's built-in camera for 40 seconds. Completely contactless, with no additional hardware needed, it saves NHS staff time while improving patient experience.
With the help of a consultancy grant from KEEP+, xim were able to bring in specialist expertise from the University of Portsmouth to support the design and execute a validation study for their innovative digital health solution. Lifelight has the potential to save lives as well as reduce costs in the NHS and is already in use in GP surgeries and mental health trusts with plans to expand globally.
Laurence Pearce, owner of xim, who developed Lifelight said there was also potential for further scope, “We’re delighted to have been able to develop such an accessible solution for both healthcare professionals and eventually for people at home.
There are so many opportunities to improve care – for example, people in care homes are often frail, need regular monitoring and may become ill quite quickly. Lifelight can potentially save the need for emergency call outs, unnecessary patient travel and disruption. Skype may help to address this, and there are online GP services being developed, but often physical observations still need to be done and Lifelight can reduce many of those appointments, improving patient care and supporting clinical decision-making. Also, being a contactless technology may make it easier to obtain observations from patients with learning disabilities, mental health problems or even dementia.
In the future, we also have plans to develop the technology so that individuals can check their own observations at home, enabling self-monitoring, increased prevention and early detection. And technology-wise we’re already working to develop extra benefits, for example, tests for oxygen saturation levels and irregular heartbeats. We’re excited as the possibilities for Lifelight are pretty much endless!”