Application that makes direct and noninvasive diagnosis-express of anemia , analyzing nail photos of a man, which taken with a mobile phone, created by researchers in the US.
Application detects anemia by visually assessing hemoglobin levels in the individual’s body. The new method could -according to scientists- if further improved, lead in the future to replacing the current laboratory blood tests.
Anemia suffers from at least two billion people worldwide, and its diagnosis today requires specialized equipment, which is not easy in rural and isolated areas.
The researchers -led by Professor of Pediatrics and Hematology, Willberg Lam, of the Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta- who published the publication in “Nature Communications” , developed an algorithm that calculates the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood by analyzing the color and other nail data, based on mobile images. This way, no other equipment than a smartphone is required.
The test of the new method in 100 individuals showed that it has a high sensitivity (up to 97%) and accuracy (almost analogous to the existing tests) and in less than a minute.
However, it will be necessary to confirm the credibility of the new technique to a larger sample of people, before being exploited more widely.
As Lam said, with the new method, the patients themselves can “check” their hemoglobin levels and the evolution of their chronic disease, knowing when they need to readjust the treatment they are doing or when they have to go to the hospital for blood transfusion.
This will reduce the side effects of both the premature and the delayed transfusions that occur today.
The new method can be used by anyone at any time, regardless of the color of the skin, and can be particularly useful in pregnant women, women with period abnormalities and athletes (runners, etc.).
Researchers have already patented the technology patent, while the application for a “smart” mobile phone is expected to be ready for downloading by the public after the spring of 2019.