Scots medtech firm kicks off project to remotely diagnose person’s state of health

A Perthshire medical tech business has launched a funding bid for the first project of its kind to combine new optical technologies and computer algorithms to remotely diagnose a person’s state of health.

The business is the research and development division of Alba Building Sciences. Since its inception in 1995, the company has been a pioneer in applying infrared thermography to assess the build quality and energy efficiency performance of buildings.

Alba Medical Sciences is working in collaboration with NHS Ninewells in Dundee and with support from Dundee, St Andrews and Abertay universities. The “Alba Vital Scan” project is scheduled to run for a year starting in January.

It is said to be the first of its kind to trial new optical technologies and computer algorithms to remotely diagnose somebody’s state of health, including for Covid-19. A funding bid has been launched with a target of raising £120,000.

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Grant Rooney, the founder of Alba Medical Sciences, said; “The scientific infrared hardware and software we work with is highly advanced and is frequently used in military and space applications.

“We know that we can use this technology to detect minute increments of the human body temperature. When linked to other technologies, we believe we can also measure heart rate, respiration rate, CO2 and blood-oxygen levels.

“These are the vital signs used by healthcare professionals to assess patients and to make a diagnosis on their general state of health. At present, measuring these vital signs requires some form of attached device and physical contact between patient and healthcare professional, leaving the latter exposed to potential infection, even when using PPE.”

The business is the research and development division of Alba Building Sciences. Since its inception in 1995, the company has been a pioneer in applying infrared thermography to assess the build quality and energy efficiency performance of buildings.

Alba Building Sciences has worked across the UK and internationally on a wide range of projects including Fort Washington in the US, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and the Burrell Collection in Glasgow.

Jean Ngoie, head of instrumentation and clinical engineering at NHS Tayside, said: “We have a unique opportunity to speed up diagnosis, pin point areas of interest and allow our clinical team to customise therapy based on information that will be made available as a result of this project.

“As a result, we will be able to provide better and enhanced clinical services to the population that we serve.”

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