According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide. At the same time, 80 out of 100 cases of stroke can be prevented. The number of people suffering from various diseases of the musculoskeletal system is also steadily growing every year.
With the large amount of medical data on human health available in digital form, the possibilities of modern smartphones and the lack of solutions on the market of mobile applications that can monitor the health status of a person in real time and warn him about disease manifestations, researchers at the Institute of Information Technology, Mathematics and Mechanics of the Lobachevsky University were inspired to develop a system (mobile application) aimed at monitoring the user’s health and providing an early diagnosis of many diseases of the cardiovascular system and the musculoskeletal system.
The application’s unique feature, among other things, is that it is capable of monitoring the state of a person’s health in real time without the user’s involvement. This is achieved through the person’s interaction with a smartphone, fitness trackers (if available) and specialized medical equipment (as an option).
The project involves the following innovative approaches and solutions:
- Diagnosis of diseases using a mobile application. All the methods used for diagnosis are currently employed by doctors and have an evidence base that ensures the correct diagnosis. The innovation feature of this type of diagnostics is that it is performed by a smartphone. Diagnosis methods do not require any contact with a doctor.
- Using machine learning algorithms to monitor one’s health status. The monitoring methods make it possible to clearly visualize the progress/regress of the disease and to reveal the signs of manifestation of new diseases.
- Using machine learning algorithms aimed at detecting changes in the physical and mental state of a person. By analyzing the user’s photos in the telephone and those published in social networks it is possible to make assumptions regarding the changes occurring in the person’s body.
- A new method of testing through the use of a compact device will make it possible to instantly perform an express blood (or other biological fluid) test and send the results to one’s doctor.
Currently, to ensure correct operation of the developed application, mobile devices must have the operating system iOS 9 and above, as well as access to the Internet.
To achieve a greater accuracy of the algorithms, one should use wearable devices, such as smart watches or fitness bracelets (trackers). Currently, support for 1st and 2nd generation Apple Watches is available. These gadgets are used to obtain information about the user’s arterial pressure, pulse and motor activity.
The meCare project is one of the winners in the national contest “IT Project of the Year – 2017” in the category “Best IT project in the field of medicine”.
Further research is underway to refine the software.