Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have developed a way to monitor heart-failure patients through their daily use of  technology.

HealthKam is a first of its kind app that transforms a patient's smart phone, computer or tablet into a heart monitor. It works by detecting changes in the person's skin color while the patient uses their device by running the app in the background.

The technology was developed based on six years of research.

"So lets say you check your email, watch something on YouTube, go on Facebook... Our app runs in the background. It's used to extract your camera to extract your heartbeat and this data is sent to the cloud, preserving your personal information," Dr. Jean-Philippe Couderc, CEO of VPG Medical said. "There's no photos kept anywhere or sent anywhere."

VPG Medical is one of 10 companies that pitched New York state for $1 million in angel funding as part of an annual competition to pump up photonics.

"Resting heartrate is very important because if your heart becomes sick or becomes tired, your heartrate is going to increase," Gill Tsouri,  CTO of VPG Medical added. "We can send this information to the caregiver, the physician and it would let them know their patient would benefit from adjusting the dose of the drug or actually being exposed to a new drug."

More than 90 patients are in the process of clinically testing the new technology.

For now, the app is only downloadable at recommendation by a doctor.