As the technology of the mobile phone industry grows the capabilities of mobile phones as medical diagnostic tools (dubbed mhealth by some professionals) and demands the attention of developers. We at Soteria noticed an area where we saw significant room for improvement in this sector. That being the fact that a very large portion of the world doesn't have access to universal healthcare, so a free and open source app to diagnose an illness and perhaps suggest prognosis' according to SCAT III international standards.
Soteria is an app designed around the principals of diagnostics. It uses several diagnostic techniques ranging from a few simple surveys to distinguish the circumstances of your injury and how likely it is that someone could have suffered traumatic brain damage in that situation. It then moves into the main diagnostic technique; a pupil dilation test. Most traumatic brain injuries cause severe damage to the link between the brain and the eye, known as the optic nerve which inhibits normal function of the eye. This is where Soteria comes in. Soteria uses the advanced optical sensors in every phone to measure the dilation of the the eye. In a normal human eye, the pupil will shrink in response to light, while an individual having had a traumatic injury, thus damaging the optic nerve loses this ability and there is very little to no response of the pupil to light.
Soteria was built in Android Studio utilizing the OpenCV computer vision library to complete its primary function. The app consists of several areas that can be broken down into questionnaire protocol, pupil screening and final diagnostics.
Integration of the phone camera into the proof of concept pupil dilation program was a significant hurdle for the team. The lead designer of this integration found the connection between the two programs to be unreliable and is, as of writing this document, attempting to resolve the issues.
The Soteria team consists of 4 Engineering Physics students with a whopping combined total of 0 hours of app development experience and the fact that we were able to take a biomedical engineering problem and convert it into an app that although, does not reach the design specifications initially laid out is nothing short of miraculous.
From the experience the Soteria team had this weekend we learned that we do not have nearly enough respect for app developers. We also learned that the Ancient Greeks had a god for safety: Soteria.
Soteria has plenty of room to grow and develop into a functionally relevant, useful application. There are several design possibilities that could, in the future, be implemented to improve Soteria's functionality and are as follows,
- Design aesthetic improvements
- Integration of a live feed from the camera for a direct reading of pupil dilation
- Implementation of PWM (pulse width modulation) into the flash, in conjunction with 2. to provide real time measurements
- Finish the program....
- Implementation of further applications and surveys to help aid in the diagnosis.
- Strengthening a prognosis protocol including google maps to the nearest clinics/hospitals, EMT info-graphics for how to properly handle patients and more importantly what NOT to do
- Approval by an appropriate health agency for use as an accurate diagnostic tool
DISCLAIMER: We at Soteria are not medical professionals and by no means have the right or capability to apply a proper diagnosis. We do abide by the outlines stated in the SCAT III, but WE ARE NOT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. We must insist that if you suspect a traumatic brain injury to head immediately to your local hospital to seek treatment by MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS.