New technology that could revolutionise the way doctors measure patients’ vital signs has attracted a £500,000 investment from intellectual property firm IP Group.

The device, which uses a webcam and computer software, allows medical staff to measure heart rate, respiratory rate and, uniquely, oxygen saturation.

The software is still in its experimental stage but could cut back on the need for patients to make repeated visits to doctors.

By using the technology, doctors will be able continually to monitor patients remotely, allowing them to adjust treatments quickly.

It also has possible health monitoring applications for use in gyms and rest homes, said Dr Brian Horsburgh, head of life sciences at IP Group.

“We need to flesh out the robustness of the technology but its potential applications are enormous,” he said.