In a nod to Star Trek's Dr McCoy, Viatom has shown a device it bills as a "real medical tricorder" at this week's Consumer Electronics show in New York City. The handheld CheckMe is designed to provide fast readouts of several vital signs as well as tracking patient progress in both clinical and home settings.

For people with chronic conditions, many emergency room visits are made simply because the patient doesn't have access to monitoring equipment that could confirm whether or not medical attention is required. In addition, many conditions, such has high blood pressure, benefit from regular measurements and recording. Unfortunately, devices like ECGs, sphygmometers and blood oxygen monitors are often bulky, not very portable and expensive. Not only could home users benefit from something more compact, but so could doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners.

The Viatom CheckMe aims to overcome the limitations of conventional monitoring devices by combining several major instruments into a single handheld "tricorder" design. It measures and tracks various vital signs using a series of built-in, cableless sensors and a simple LCD interface that provides the user with step by step prompts for operation and calibration.

The CheckMe is used as simply as holding the metal contacts and inserting a finger in the oxygen sensor. The unit then generates graphic waveform readouts of heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and systolic blood pressure, which can be transmitted by Bluetooth and a proprietary app to a mobile device and ten hours of measurements can be saved. In addition, by plugging in an external finger sensor, the unit can be turned into a sleep monitor and there's an infrared temperature sensor that can get a reading in three seconds.

For domestic use, there's a Home mode that reminds users to take their medication and uses a 3D motion detector to turn the device into a pedometer which calculates steps, distance, calories, and fat burned.

The Viatom CheckMe will be marketed at Bloomingdales in New York starting in August for US$249 under the brand name BodiMetrics.

The video below explains how to use the Viatom.


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