Validic announced a new tool, VitalSnap, that will let patient users upload all sorts of health data to the cloud by just taking a picture of their unconnected device.

Validic is a digital health platform that’s similar to Apple’s HealthKit or Qualcomm’s 2Net platform in that it has a ton of devices that can feed data into their platform, making that data collectively accessible to software and IT systems that can use it. For example, a weight loss app that plugs into Validic could get access to devices from Garmin, Fitbit, BodyMedia, Jawbone, and so on. This new tool aims to make the data from unconnected devices accessible too.

Validic VitalSnap

Health tracking is something that I frequently use with patients, like asking patients with heart failure to monitor their weights or blood pressure at home. While connected devices can help them more easily share that information with me, typically via email, a lot of patients don’t have devices with those capabilities, for a variety of reasons. Not infrequently though, I’ll get patients who email me pictures of their written logs or bring these pictures to clinic.

What VitalSnap proposes to do is let patients snap pictures of their devices’ display after taking, say, a blood pressure measurement. VitalSnap can recognize the type of data, digitize it, and store it in an app.

Of course, this will only work if the app that patients use to snap these pictures is really easy to use and intuitive. That said, it’s an interesting tool that I could see a lot of patients using. For one, patients could share their data digitally with their physician but save some money by getting the generally lower cost but equally accurate unconnected devices (or sticking with whatever they already have). And while some patients may be put off by having to use Bluetooth to transfer data or operate their device through an app, the majority are probably comfortable with using their smartphone’s camera.

Video from Validic showing how VitalSnap works