The Friday Interview: Jonathan Chevallier, CEO at Oxehealth
In this week’s interview, we speak to the CEO of a business trying to bring monitoring of vitals for patients into the digital era. Imagine a world where doctors and nurses no longer have to go in and write down your vitals every hour and a second opinion is just the other end of a video call (with all the data available to make the right diagnosis too). Well that’s what Jonathan Chevallier and Oxehealth are trying to do.
PH: Could you please explain what Oxehealth is?
JC: Oxehealth is a biomedical software company spun out from the University of Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering in 2012. It is focused on providing advanced solutions which enable vital signs to be monitored with a digital video camera, tablet or phone without the need for any proprietary equipment.
PH: How does Oxehealth make money?
JC: Oxehealth’s business model is to license its technology in the form of software modules to partners who will take the final product to market. This will drive a software license revenue stream.
PH: Is Oxehealth available to consumers? If so, how much does it cost?
JC: Not yet. As our business model is focused on licensing to third party businesses we don’t produce any products which are directly saleable to consumers. However, I would hope that as a result of the partnerships that we are developing our technology will become available to consumers over the next few years.
PH: What’s coming next from Oxehealth?
JC: We’ve done a lot of work to package the algorithms which measure heart rate and breathing rate. However, our technology is also capable of monitoring blood oxygenation. Hospital trials have proven this and we need to make this functionality available from our core software stack. We are also working with a number of partners to tune our software to their specific environments but it’s too soon for us to talk about these developments.
PH: What do you personally track on a daily basis?
JC: You’ll probably not be surprised to hear that I look at my heart rate and blood oxygen levels on a daily basis. However, I also have some fancy scales that I use to produce measurements of weight, lean body mass, fat percentage and hydration, and I also track my activity levels. This is important, as with a busy working life, it’s just too easy to spend the whole day seated and achieve next to no physical activity at all.
PH: Lastly, what do you see as the future of self-quantification?
JC: The biggest issue with self-quantification is that it requires the consumer to do too much work (wearing devices, checking things etc.) – this means that, except for a small percentage of users who are highly motivated, after an initial bout of enthusiasm usage quickly falls off and the associated benefits too. The future of self-quantification is therefore ‘auto-quantification’ based on solutions that are capable of unobtrusively monitoring, gathering data as we go about our lives, without the need for us to wear or use anything special, and then provide appropriate prompts based on that data. Cameras can do much of this work as they are able to gather rich data which is personalised, and they are becoming increasingly ubiquitous whilst machine learning algorithms will be important for providing the interpretation and intelligent prompts.