Smartphone app could use fingernails to detect anemia

Shared by Radhika Narayanan | 51 0 0 | about 5 months ago

A smartphone camera, fingernails and a new app could be key to remotely testing for anemia in the future, according to a new study published in Nature on Wednesday. The study, which included 100 participants with and without anemia, examined the accuracy of a smartphone app that uses fingernail color as a screening tool for anemia. The app was able to detect 97 percent of the participants with anemia. It also had a accuracy of plus or minus 2.4 hemoglobin (Hgb) grams per deciliter when it was compared to CBC hemoglobin levels. Given the performance of this technology and high prevalence of anemia worldwide, afflicting nearly two billion people, especially young children, the elderly and pregnant women, worldwide, this completely noninvasive technology that requires only photos obtained from smartphones has significant implications as a widely accessible screening tool for at-risk populations and the general population, the authors of the study wrote. The ability to inexpensively diagnose anemia with a high sensitivity, completely noninvasively and without the need for any external smartphone attachments or calibration equipment represents a significant improvement over current POC anemia screening.

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