Singapore trials Smartphone app offering mini check-ups

Joseph Campbell By

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Gunasekar Udayakumar, 41, is checked every morning before work at the construction site in Singapore without going to a clinic or seeing a nurse.

All he wants is his mobile that will tell him about his heart rate, oxygen and even tension levels in just 45 seconds.

It can even inform him when he can see a physician.

The Singapore Startup Nervotec application is what Kajima finds its first line of protection against another coronaviral outbreak in Singapore.

The city has kept its pathogens close by and wishes to prevent the last year, when a number of outbreaks in migrant worker sleeping places appeared.

As part of the government-led program which provides companies with test-stage technologies to allow them to respond to new pandemic-era requirements, Kajima workers at various sites have used the application since December.

It provides a diagnostic of the fitness of the patient, depending primarily on a mobile camera, which can assess heart rhythm by capturing variations in light reflection in the skin between the heart beats dependent on blood flow.

Nervotec founder Jonathan Lau said technology was a big concern of Singapore's government.

"We see the most traction coming from healthcare providers, both private and public," he said.

Lau was originally influenced by his time as an air force pilot where he was continuously watched.

He eventually formed a company which used pilots to track wearable devices.

But Lau broadened the emphasis as the pandemic struck.

Chwee Teck Lim, Director of the Singapore Center for Health Innovation and Technology at the Singapore National University, said it will have a huge effect if regulators approve it.

"What Nervotec is proposing could potentially be a game-changer," Lim said.

(Martin Petty and Alexandra Hudson editing)