HemaApp is a smartphone app developed by researchers at the University Of Washington, in order to test the blood hemoglobin levels of patients.
The app uses the built in light of the smartphone, along with it’s camera to test a patients finger for signs of hemoglobin activity, which they then use as a means of forming a medical diagnosis.
This makes it the latest entrant in the relatively new field of Smartphone Diagnosis, that focuses on turning our smartphones into our own personal labs.
For this particular experiment, the researchers used a Nexus 5 smartphone. While the creation of the app took a lot of effort, the execution of the idea was a lot easier to work on.
All a potential patient has to do is place a finger over the the camera lens. The app then activates the light of the smartphone, which in turn shines through the finger of the patient.
The app then turn over to the camera, which is used to detect the color intensity of the blood in the finger, in order to detect specific features related to blood hemoglobin levels.
By running the observations through a specific algorithm, the app is then able to determine exactly what the hemoglobin count of the blood is.
To prove the efficacy of the system, the researchers used 31 patients as a sample survey, and found that the system they created had an astonishing accuracy rate of over 80%.
This makes is a very credible system for medical diagnosis. Even though it may never match the accuracy of a proper blood test, it still can be used successfully in areas where conducting proper blood testing isn’t feasible.
How effective such a system will be in real life conditions though, is still tough to say, as the team hasn’t completed all the testing needed to declare this system market ready. Till then, we’ll just have to wait and watch.