AI startup that captures vital signs via phone cameras launches new corporate wellness solution

Binah.ai uses artificial intelligence and low-end cameras built into phones for remote vital sign monitoring by analyzing a person’s face to get medical-grade insights such as respiration rate and heart rate variability. (Binah.ai)

Many employers, universities and other organizations are expanding health and wellness monitoring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

One artificial intelligence health startup that offers video-based health tracking sees big opportunities among insurance companies and employers with the growing demand for health monitoring tools.

Binah.ai developed an app that analyzes a person’s face to get medical-grade insights such as respiration rate and heart rate variability. The company uses AI and low-end cameras built into phones and laptops for remote vital sign monitoring.

This week, the Israel-based company launched Binah Team, a ready-to-use wellness monitoring solution for organizations that will debut at CES 2021. The end-to-end solution does not require integration and includes a cloud-based management platform to enable any organization to instantly offer a health and wellness monitoring application to its employees, students or any other member, the company said.

Binah.ai extracts vital signs using a video taken of the upper cheek region of the face and analyzes this with advanced AI and deep learning algorithms, including computer vision technology and signal processing, the company said.

The technology can measure a wide range of vital signs such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiration rate, heart rate variability and mental stress, David Maman, co-founder and CEO of Binah.ai, told Fierce Healthcare.

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Within the next three months, the company will add additional monitoring capabilities as it aims to turn its app into the go-to health monitoring tool. 

"This year has changed everything. COVID-19 has boosted the entire industry that requires remote patient monitoring five years forward," Maman said.

The company, which launched in 2016, has raised $14.5 million to date, backed by Maverick Ventures Israel. The startup works with insurance companies, wellness platforms and clinics. Binah.ai works with 60 customers around the world, including Japan’s Sompo Himawari Life Insurance, which is integrating Binah’s technology to measure policyholders’ stress levels.

Shaking up the remote monitoring market

Maman said Binah.ai's technology disrupts the remote health monitoring market as it doesn't require home medical equipment, sensors or wearables.

"With devices and wearables, there is never-ending friction from the cost of shipping to charging the devices to the learning curve for patients to use it," he said.

Binah.ai's technology relies on remote photoplethysmographic imaging (rPPG), which is a camera-based solution for non-contact cardiovascular monitoring and measures the changes in red, green and blue light reflected from the skin, according to the company. The technology also can extract a PPG signal when a user places their finger on the back camera of a smartphone. 

The type of signal processing Binah uses consistently receives a high level of accuracy against medical-grade equipment, between 95% and 98%, the company said.

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The company already offers a software development kit that enables organizations to integrate its technology into their existing wellness apps or services. Many large insurance companies in international markets already have integrated the app into their wellness programs, Maman said.

The new cloud-based management platform requires zero integration and is aimed at smaller organizations that don't want to build their own corporate wellness apps or solutions, he said. The Binah Team app delivers end users with a friendly, easy-to-use interface and provides data collection for historical analysis and trends. The solution keeps users’ data private according to each organization’s policies.

The Binah Team app supports iOS (iPhone 8 and above) and Android (9.0 and above) and can run on any Android mobile device launched during the last three to four years. The app is available in 12 different languages.

"The COVID-19 pandemic significantly emphasized the need to rapidly deploy the technology across the globe. With Binah Team, we can now empower any organization, from any industry, to support their teams in their well-being efforts," Maman said.

The company's AI-powered technology reads vital signs identified by epidemiologists as being associated with a higher likelihood of COVID-19 infection. These measurements, in combination with other symptoms—such as fever or coughing—can aid health professionals in deciding whether a patient should seek further medical attention or reduce risking exposure by remaining safely at home.