Technology companies are vying with one another to enter the healthcare market with the next big thing, but what if your health were to be monitored every day as you carried out your morning ablutions? That is the premise behind Wize Mirror which is being developed by a team of countries with EU funding. The consortium wants to develop the mirror to help prevent long-term diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The Wize Mirror looks like a mirror and acts like a mirror, but it also contains an array of sensors including 3D scanners, gas sensors and multispectral cameras to enable it to measure the state of someone’s health. Looking into the mirror will enable the person’s face to be measured and examined for minute changes that may indicate a health problem. The mirror will note the shape of the person’s face, fatty tissue, whether they are flushed or pale or even the expression on the face. The gas sensor will take samples of the person’s breath and test for compounds which could indicate how much they smoke, drink or if there is anything that might indicate a medical problem. The face shape analysers are checking for weight loss or gain and the cameras are checking out the skin appearance, blood circulation or estimating the heart rate. A LCD screen offers health messages personalised to the user as well as the score.
The mirror takes about a minute to do all this assessment and then produces a score to indicate how healthy the person looking in the mirror is. The makers of the mirror suggest that the device will give guidance and advice on the results of the tests that are run. The intention is to enable users to self-assess their own health, interact naturally with the mirror and receive tailored guidance. The developers of the mirror believe that a key part of prevention must be self-awareness. Used daily, the mirror will build up a profile of the user over time in order to compare scores.
The mirror is still being developed. Clinical trials are due to begin in France and Italy. The trials will compare the readings produced by the Wize Mirror with readings from more traditionally used medical devices.
Colantonio, S., et al.; A smart mirror to promote a healthy lifestyle. National Research Council of Italy, Pisa, Italy Available online 14 July 2015