In 2019, remote consultations in Europe accounted for only 0.1% of consultations, or barely 10,000 remote consultations per day. The Covid-19 crisis has greatly accelerated the development of this consultation method, with a peak of 27% in France during the spring 2020 lockdowns. Since then, the trend has stabilized. According to the exclusive GERS Data barometer for Mind Health, remote consultations accounted for around 4% of total general practice consultations in June 2021, leaving the sector a good margin for growth.
However, there is still one drawback: physicians cannot conduct a clinical examination of their patients, as they would during a face-to-face appointment.
I-Virtual has addressed this by creating Caducy, a ground-breaking tool derived from five years of R&D. Caducy measures vital parameters remotely and without contact using photoplethysmography, an optical process that detects changes in the blood volume in superficial tissues through skin pigmentation variations.
The way it works is very simple. The patient takes a 30-second selfie video with the application on their computer, tablet, or smartphone, and in just a few seconds Caducy measures their heart rate, respiratory rate, heart rate variability, and stress level using advanced signal analysis and artificial intelligence algorithms.
“We will soon be adding blood pressure and blood oxygen saturation. More parameters will follow in the coming years,” adds Alexis Collard, marketing engineer at I-Virtual.
Several potential uses are being explored
The Caducy e-health solution, which is currently going through the CE marking process for medical devices, may be incorporated into remote consultation platforms. The goal is to improve prevention and diagnosis, and provide better in-home follow-up care for patients with chronic diseases.
“Caducy could also be used to refer patients to pharmacies and hospital emergency rooms, or to support diagnosis during emergency calls,” adds Alexis Collard.
I-Virtual raised €2.5 million in early 2021 to market its e-health solution in the coming months.