Photo Credit: Womba
A sample of eVITALS at work, featuring Moti Mitteldorf, chief technology officer of Womba.

What if you could diagnose your vital signs with the click of a button on your phone? A new consumer-friendly app called eVITALS does just that.

Using groundbreaking technology, the app measures heart rate, mental stress, oxygen saturation, and respiration using algorithms and artificial intelligence. It also is cheaper than many of the heart-and-pulse gadgets currently available at the local drug store.

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“You pay one price and you can scan as often as you want,” Moti Mitteldorf, chief technology officer of Womba, the company that makes eVITALS, told The Jewish Press. He says upcoming versions will also determine one’s blood pressure, BMI, and weight – by analyzing a selfie.

The app’s eShare option allows consumers to share results with whomever they wish – doctors, caregivers, loved ones, etc. The eVITALS app can be installed on any android or apple product. After taking a selfie, results start populating on the screen in as soon as 30 seconds. Features include data history and graphs allowing you to compare your results to results of an earlier date.

The company (officially, Wombacare LLC) is headquartered in New York City and has been in the health care data and innovative solutions business for over 20 years. Its CEO, Eli Rowe, is founder of the emergency aviation program Hatzolah Air.

Womba has been touting the new app as a game-changing development as consumers can now capture a tremendous amount of data previously obtained only by going to a medical center. Due to the technological advances in smartphone camera quality, eVITALS is also able to capture heart rate and oxygen saturation, critical pieces of data for detecting Covid-19.

Initially, eVITALS did not plan to enter the consumer market so soon, but the advent of the Covid-19 crisis hastened Womba to provide what it called a level of comfort, convenience, and certainty to the general market as soon as possible. By using eVITALS to monitor indicators – such as a person’s respiration rate – the consumer can be alerted to the possibility of having been affected.

“As a Hatzalah paramedic for 30 years, I can tell you that [having the right information] becomes power,” Rowe told The Jewish Press. “Panic has been so rampant throughout our communities in the last couple months that the calming agent of the possibility – when you’re in an office or shul and somebody says “Oh, you look sick” and you can just look at your smartphone and know you’re okay – is priceless.”

“The environment that we now live in, employers and companies are looking for workforce solutions,” said Hillel Zwick, Womba’s chief financial officer. With eVITALS “all information can be conveyed in real time, stored and accessed on demand. It’s the future now.”

Ben Schlager, Womba’s chief compliance officer, reflected on what may become the new normal. He said he believes that it will become standard for people to need to prove they are healthy, no matter what their age or condition, in order to be a part of social activities or allowed in social places.

“We will be hearing more about employer liability, school liability,” he said. “Since Covid-19 has emerged, workers have been asking their employers, ‘What have you done to ensure employee safety? Am I going to get sick and what are you doing to make sure this doesn’t happen?’ There’s very little you can do to stop the spread once it’s present. All you can do is stay ahead of it and play defense and try to avoid spreading once you know someone is sick. The only way to do that is through diagnosis.”

The eVITALS app may also prove beneficial in facilitating telemedicine, ever-present in a post-coronavirus world.

“In 2016, there were almost 884 million visits nation-wide between the patients and physicians,” Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Health Committee, said in a press release last week. “If 15-20 percent of those were to become remote permanently due to telehealth expansion during Covid 19, that would produce a massive change in our health care system. Our job should be to ensure that change is done with the goals of better outcomes and better patient experiences at a lower cost.”

Zwick noted that health services and clinicians that promote apps like eVITALS benefit from the fact that patients who are well-informed and involved in their treatment plans and their treatment process are more likely to stay on treatment. “Patients can self-monitor and readily engage their practitioners with questions and understand how to make healthier decisions for their own lives.”

By empowering patients to find and record their own vital health signs, the eVITALS app may end up being a key player in this new medical world.

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Baruch Lytle is a Jewish Press staff writer.