An essential part of traditional Chinese medicine involves diagnosis based on hands-on measurement of the qualities of a patient’s pulse. As such, patients generally must meet face-to-face with practitioners. Seeking a way to help patients who must travel long distances for treatment, a young Chinese medicine physician joined with other innovators to develop a remote pulse diagnosis system.
Our wish is to use science and technology to bring Chinese medical doctors closer to patients.
—Ellen Wang, Traditional Chinese Medicine Physician and inventor
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been practiced for thousands of years, not only in China, but in many other parts of the world. As part of an examination, TCM practitioners often place their hands on a patient’s wrist to feel his or her pulse. TCM pulse measurement involves much more than simply counting the number of heart beats per minute; instead TCM doctors are trained to distinguish types of pulse—described by terms such as superficial, choppy, thready, slippery, hollow, or bowstring—that may point to causes of dysfunction in a patient’s body.
Ellen Wang, a young licensed TCM physician, sought out the expertise of a more experienced TCM doctor when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, each visit to that doctor’s clinic requires Wang and her mother to make an 8-hour round trip.
I’m exhausted after every visit, and weak patients feel this exhaustion even more.
Inspired by an Intel-supported youth maker competition, Wang teamed up with four other young innovators to come up with a way to address this issue. Using Intel® development boards and consulting with Intel engineers, they developed the “pulse transmitter,” which can capture pulse signals as digits and images and transmit them to doctors over long distances.
“We are looking to further develop the board in the future to incorporate artificial intelligence as part of the pulse diagnosis,” says Wang.
This will widen the impact of our invention, reaching even more people at their homes. Our hope is that Chinese medicine gains understanding and popularity globally.