King’s student helping to develop AI tools to measure vital signs

Fourth-year student Mikka Alon

Fourth-year chemical engineer Mikka Alon has been working with health start-up perfexia to explore ways of using smartphone technology to monitor vital signs such as heart rate and respiratory rate. We caught up with Mikka to ask about her involvement with the company and her prospective vision for the technology:

“My journey at perfexia started with the #CamVsCovid hackathon organised by the Judge Business School. As the whole Cambridge community dived into solving some of the health and social challenges resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, I too, then as a third-year Chemical Engineering student, started looking for and developing technological solutions that would bring a long-term benefit to society.

The main problem we saw was the concern from GPs around a paucity of observational data which was limiting the expansion of remote GP services – the new normal for primary care. Millions of patients were accessing remote consultations, but that excluded patients who did not have access to wearable devices to monitor their vital signs. We presented a technological solution for this problem to the hackathon and won third place.

Fast forward to 2021, and my team and I have launched our flagship product, DocMe, which allows people to monitor their vital signs – heart rate and respiratory rate – via a 15-second smartphone video selfie, and using our proprietary DeepTech. By February of this year DocMe will also monitor oxygen saturation, blood pressure and temperature detection.

As a Senior Vice President (SVP) and Tech Operations Lead, I have a front-row seat in overseeing the development of state-of-the-art deep learning models and advanced Computer Vision (CV) technology. In my role, I also conducted a pre-clinical efficacy data study to validate the accuracy of DocMe in comparison with the vitals obtained by direct measurement. We have now finalised a clinical trial to validate our technology towards regulatory approvals at Oxford University Hospitals with Dr Alex Novak and his team, and are looking forward to what promises to be an exciting year ahead.”

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For more information about the DocMe app and how to download it, please see the perfexia website.

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