Tinke, an iPhone dongle pulse oximetry device

By: Chris Gullo | Jan 9, 2012        

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TinkeSingapore-based Zensorium unveiled Tinke, an iPhone peripheral pulse oximeter device, at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) this week. Tinke is a compact device that measures blood oxygen levels, respiratory rate, and heart rate. It connects to iOS devices via the Apple device’s dock connector.

Zensorium told Forbes that the device will cost about $100 and should be available for iPhone users in about six months time. Versions compatible with other smartphones will follow shortly thereafter, a company rep told Forbes on-site at CES.

Here’s how it works: Users place a finger onto the dongle’s camera lens, which analyzes the blood vessels on their finger tip via infrared and light beams. A companion app developed by Zensorium then displays the user’s collected data within about 45 seconds. The user needs to keep their finger on the device for about that long without moving it. (Traditional pulse oximeter device clip on to a user’s fingertip to make this process a little easier.)

The Tinke app also provides an index score, called the Vita Index, every time a measurement is taken. Users can share their number, which maxes out at 99, with friends and family on a social network created specifically for the app. In addition, they can anonymously compare their Vita Index to other users in the same demographic.

“Mobile healthcare has steadily grown during the past two years and is at the stage where communication devices, pervasive sensing technologies, social networks and data analytics have arrived at a desired condition to realize a technological revolution,” Zensorium states on its website. “Tinke [is] a combination of conscientious design and technologies for you.”

While pulse ox devices are generally considered more appropriate for health care use cases, the Zensorium rep told Forbes that the company is targeting any and all health enthusiasts between the ages of 18 and 65 years old.

In January of last year, Nonin announced a wrist worn Bluetooth-enabled pulse oximeter that connected to smartphones. The device launched last October.

For more details, watch the Forbes demo of Tinke in this YouTube video.