Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company, MediaTek Inc., has developed the first of its kind, six-in-one smartphone biosensor module that will enable smartphones to capture health and wellness data.

The new health monitoring solution, called MediaTek Sensio, can track heart rate information, blood pressure trends, peripheral oxygen saturation levels and more.

This is achieved using light emitting diodes (LEDs) in conjunction with a light sensitive sensor to measure the absorption of red and infrared light by the user’s fingertips. By touching the device’s sensors and electrodes, MediaTek Sensio creates a closed loop between the user’s heart and the biosensor to measure electrocardiography (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG) waveforms.

“Giving people the power to access their health information with a smartphone is a major step in making the world a healthier place,” said Sr. Director of Product Marketing for MediaTek’s wireless business, Dr Yenchi Lee.

“With our MediaTek Sensio biosensor module and software, developers and device makers have a powerful, embedded health monitoring solution that delivers heart and fitness information in around 60 seconds,” continued Dr Lee.

The six key health data points that Sensio monitors are heart rate; heart rate variability; blood pressure trends; peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2); ECG; and PPG – the change in volume of blood.

The MediaTek Sensio, which consists of optical, electrical and processing components, is customisable so that different smartphone device manufacturers can embed the MediaTek Sensio module directly into their smartphones. The manufacturers are also able to develop proprietary applications or leverage third-party apps and developer add-ons.

MediaTek demonstrated a Sensio prototype at CES 2018 and the solution is expected to be available in early 2018. As of yet the solution hasn’t been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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