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Date: 28-09-16

Smart phone app to diagnose Anemia non-invasively

The most simple way to diagnose anaemia is by pulling down eyelid and to look at the skin inside in front of a mirror, it should turn pink quickly. If it is taking few seconds, or not turning pink at all, then there are chances of that person having Anaemia. However if you want more accurate diagnosis some drops of blood to be taken from your body to carry out haemoglobin test.

To make the haemoglobin-test a non-invasive and simple, the researchers at University of Washington have developed a smartphone based non-invasive method using an app to diagnose anaemia. The app named HemaApp measures Hemoglobin levels and screens Anemia through Smartphone’s camera flash by illuminating the patient’s finger.

Anaemia is caused by decrease of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood. Researchers try to find out density of red blood cells or haemoglobin by using optical method to detect the change in colour by exposing fingers to flashlight of smart phone camera . HemaApp uses not only the flashlight of smartphone and also other nonvisible light sources internally available with the smart phone or any other external sources. Researchers could modify a smart phone for this purpose. Quite a simple method but getting accuracy was the challenge.

The researchers claim they could achieve accuracy as good as a similar purpose device called 'Masimo Pronto'. Masimo Pronto is a standalone non-invasive approved haemoglobin testing device which measures hemoglobin by clipping a sensor onto a person’s finger.

In the trial tests HemaApp could achieve 69 percent correlation using a smartphone camera alone to a patient’s Complete Blood Count (CBC) test, a 74 percent correlation when used under a common incandescent light bulb and an 82 percent correlation using a small circle of LED lights that can snap onto the phone.
If you compare that to Masimo Pronto, its measurements had an 81 percent correlation to the blood test.

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