During the pandemic, Thai people have become more active regarding health, so much so that many seek medical equipment to monitor their health at home and one of the sought-after devices is the fingertip pulse oximeter to check for infection, which has become high in demand and thus more expensive. For this reason, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ekkarat Boonchieng from the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, who is also the director of the Centre of Excellence in Community Health Information, came up with the idea to develop a fingertip pulse oximeter. After finishing the design, he imported parts from overseas, assembled them, and set up the measurement accuracy. This device can measure oxygen saturation in the blood and pulse rate with a deviation of less than two per cent. More importantly, the production costs are several times lower than those of other products on the market.
The Centre is also developing an application that can photograph forms containing patient history, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and blood sugar level, among others, and automatically record the data. In the case of home-isolated patients, the data will be sent to healthcare professionals immediately in order to reduce contact and increase distance between patients and healthcare professionals.
Although this fingertip pulse oximeter is not capable of diagnosing COVID-19, it can help monitor abnormalities in both those who are not infected and for those who are infected but are not under doctor’s care so that they know when to get treated at the hospital. The sooner the treatment, the lesser chance of aggravation or death. As an institution with capable healthcare professionals and researchers, CMU is committed to its healthcare mission for the benefit of society, providing care that is on par with international standards.
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