The inventor has received $3 million from the National Science Foundation to perfect smart phones that are smart enough and connected enough to actually monitor the human body. That would be Cornell University engineering professor David Erickson, who will head a multidisciplinary team of investigators who intend to develop devices with diagnostics built in.
The Stress-Phone monitors long term stress management, a Nutri-Phone plots nutritional awareness or deficiencies and a Hema-Phone monitors viral levels in HIV positive patients.
Science and technology, Mr. Erickson says, “could fundamentally alter the domestic healthcare landscape by enabling earlier stage detection of disease, reducing the cost of public healthcare delivery and allowing individuals to take better control of their own wellbeing.”
One of his previous projects has already produced a smart phone camera accessory and app that measures cholesterol levels in a drop of blood in minutes. Both the Nutri-Phone and Hema-Phone will use similar techniques to accurately monitor the body; the Stress-Phone will even measure stress levels in the user’s voice.
Mr. Erickson believes that ready access to personal health information can prompt people to change their behavior.
Eventually we hope that the Nutri-Phone will measure a multitude of vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies like A, B12 and iron, as well as D and be deployed in the developing world where nutritional deficiencies are most prevalent,” said Erickson.
His multidisciplinary team of hails from Cornell, Cornell NYC Tech, Cornell Weill Medical College, the University of Maryland and the University of California Los Angeles. The program is dubbed “PHeNoM” - for public health, nanotechnology, and mobility.