UWI student develops healthcare gadget
Second-year University of the West Indies student Javier Bryan, 20, has been developing a device that is able to remotely monitor a person's vital signs.
Bryan, who is reading for a Bachelor of Science degree in electronics and computer science, started creating the machine after COVID-19 reached Jamaica.
"I have been working on it since the COVID situation escalated in Jamaica, and since people are being told to stay home. So, this could be a way to monitor those people who may be experiencing symptoms, especially since hospitals don't have the space to accommodate everyone," he told THE STAR. "Basically, it would measure and record information about a patient like temperature, heart rate and other stuff, and would allow the patient to be monitored from anywhere as the data can be transmitted wirelessly."
Bryan, who resides in Water Lane, Clarendon, says the machine is not yet completed and is still in the 'prototyping' phase.
"I am still conducting tests and I've yet to package the device for public use. It's still under development and there's still more improvements that can be made on it," he said.
One may question, 'how will it work?'
"The current design in mind is to implement the device so it can be worn on the body, for example, in the form of an arm brace. So once the device is on and on your body, the sensors will be able to gather the readings," Bryan explained.
Honing his skills
The Glenmuir High graduate said that he has spent plenty of time honing his skills by working on other similar projects.
"I've worked on very small projects before to build my skills as this kind of thing is something I enjoy," he said. "I've been doing tests on it as I want the data to be able to transmit as close to real time as possible. Most of these parts had to be sourced online because Jamaica doesn't provide a good enough market to get these parts, like electronic sensors, Wi-Fi chips and circuit boards."
Bryan said that if he's given the opportunity to produce more of the devices, he would gladly take up the task.
"I think there's a need for devices like these that can monitor patients remotely, whether because of COVID-19 or after for other illnesses that exist. I'll definitely be willing to build on this idea and venture, and would like to get the Government's support on this project," he said.
He added, "We are in the age of the 'Internet of Things' and Jamaica seems to be lagging in that movement. My aim is to help in moving in this direction as well as, with this project, provide a means by which nurses and doctors can keep track of their patients' condition without the need for them to be in the same space, unless absolutely necessary."