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Mobile application to locate victims during natural calamities

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New Delhi: A doctor’s initiative in harnessing technology has produced an mobile application which can help locate a person trapped in debris in an earthquake or other disasters when communications fail.

Pradeep Bhardwaj, CEO of Six Sigma High Altitude Medical Services for Rescue, says his company has developed a software application which can be tracked through the mobile phone.

The concept is based on ham radio used by amateurs to communicate with one another. However, the application developed by Six Sigma, which can be downloaded to a mobile phone, is not for communication but for continuously sending out a signal which can be detected by special equipment.

“The application does not require mobile network or internet connection to communicate. This is based on satellite which will continuously transmit coded signals but which cannot be used to communicate,” Bhardwaj to IANS.

The transmitted signals can be detected within a radius of 50 kilometres.

He said that keeping the security concerns in mind, the application had been designed in such a way that people tracking the signal can get information on its location with accuracy. Bhardwaj said the Telecommunications Ministry had already given them a licence to operate the system.

Six Sigma medical services have been recognised by the Central government, several state governments and countries like Nepal and China for its contribution in saving and counselling thousands of people during the Uttrakhand cloud-burst in 2013, Nepal earthquake in 2015 and China earthquakes, Bhardwaj said.

“The Real Time Location application is made keeping in mind the rescue operations in high altitude areas where mobile towers network or Internet fails being hit by a natural calamity. People or soldiers who get trapped in the debris or snow can easily be helped out using the application,” Bhardwaj said.

Till now, Bhardwaj said, he and his team had saved more than 5,600 victims who were stuck in high altitudes.

The Six Sigma is also known for setting up a base camp at a height of 24,500 feet on Mount Everest during the Nepal earthquake, where they had played a major role in helping the Indian Army rescue people.

Bhardwaj said they would send a proposal on the application to the Health Ministry soon, urging it to get it installed in the cell phones of soldiers and people living in high altitude areas which are prone to earthquakes and landslides.

C.K. Misra, additional health Secretary in the ministry of health, told IANS: “This is a good initiative which will help people in high altitude areas. But, he said, the government would need to look into such applications.”

Bhardwaj claimed the application could have helped track Indian soldiers caught in the avalanche recently in Siachen, had these been installed in their mobile phones.(IANS)

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Monitoring BP Through a Smartphone Application is Possible Now, Check it Out Here!

However, the app still needs to be validated in a standard regulatory test

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This iPhone app claims to accurately monitor BP. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a novel blood pressure (BP) application that can give accurate readings using an iPhone, without requiring any special equipment.

Developed by the Michigan State University researchers, the new “iPhone X” app measures BP via the ‘oscillometric finger pressing method’, or ‘peek and pop’ that enables users looking to open functions and apps with a simple push of their finger.

The user presses her fingertip on both the front camera and screen to increase the external pressure of the underlying artery, while the application measures the resulting variable-amplitude blood volume oscillations via the camera and applied pressure via the strain gauge array under the screen.

The application, featured in the journal Scientific Reports, also visually guides the fingertip placement and actuation and then computes BP from the measurements just like many automatic cuff devices.

When tested, along with a finger cuff device, against a standard cuff device, the app yield indicated that cuff-less and calibration-free BP monitoring may be feasible with many existing and forthcoming smartphones, the researchers said.

“By leveraging optical and force sensors already in smartphones for taking ‘selfies’ and employing ‘peek and pop’, we’ve invented a practical tool to keep tabs on blood pressure,” said lead author Ramakrishna Mukkamala, Professor at MSU.

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Representational image. (IANS)

“Such ubiquitous blood pressure monitoring may improve hypertension awareness and control rates, and thereby help reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and mortality,” he added.

If things keep moving along at the current pace, an app could be available in late 2019, Mukkamala said.

However, the app still needs to be validated in a standard regulatory test.

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“But because no additional hardware is needed, we believe that the app could reach the society faster,” he noted.

While high blood pressure is treatable with lifestyle changes and medication, only around 20 per cent of people with hypertension have their condition under control. This invention gives patients a convenient option and keeping a log of daily measurements would produce an accurate average. (IANS)