A team of researchers from Chiang Mai University along with those from the Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC), have announced that they have developed a pulse oximetry device to measure oxygen in the blood, along with an application for readings, at a fraction of normal costs, in a bid to help support the Covid-19 fight.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Akarat Boon Chiang of CMU told CityNews that in April, when hospitals in Chiang Mai were overflowing and three field hospitals were set up to support the quarantine of those infected, there were simply not enough pulse oximetry devices to support demand. Machines had to be used by multiple patients, adding to the risk for both the infected and medical personnel.
He went on to say that many Thais who can afford these devices have also been purchasing them for private use, creating a shortage in the market, driving the prices up from the hundreds to the thousands of baht.
To that end, Chiang Mai University has been working alongside VISTEC to plan to build their own devices, with imported components. The device has an accuracy of 98% and a price tag far below that of the market’s.
They have also developed an application to be used alongside the device, to hold and report data, which is expected to be a very useful platform for Chiang Mai’s medical professionals.
To date, 200 devices have been developed, all of which will be donated to the Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Medicine, to be used for Covid-19 patients and others in need.