Adeena Schlussel

Best Ideas of 2010: Cardiocam

Editor’s Note: This post is one in a series on the Best Ideas of 2010 for the BoP. We asked the NextBillion staff writers and editors to share what they considered to be the year’s most impactful – or potentially impactful – concepts, startups or initiatives that came to fruition in 2010.

Stealing a big idea from the New York Times Magazine Big Ideas of 2010 issue may be a copout for the NextBillion Best Ideas of 2010 series. But, my thoughts have been hijacked since I learned of Cardiocam and began thinking about what this development could mean for the BoP.

“Cardiocam: Technology for Non-Contact Multi-Parameter Physiologic Measurements” was developed by researchers at Harvard- M.I.T, and captures physiological data via a webcam. The webcam is able to detect subtle shifts in face color and blood flow and then translates these facts into usable data, enabling physicians to diagnose patients from afar.

The advent of remote diagnosis carries tremendous potential for medical care at the BoP where insurmountable distances, lack of equipment and untrained doctors are tremendous health impediments. In a world where distance would not determine access to medical attention, patients in remote and underdeveloped parts of the world will face a renewed sense of hope. If Cardiocam truly carries the immense potential that it boasts, ailing patients will be able to understand their illnesses in new ways that were never before possible; they will be able to grasp the severity of their condition; and eventually, beyond being diagnosed from a distance, they may be able to receive care remotely.

Health Care, Technology
Base of the Pyramid