Biomedical engineers have developed a smartphone app with the aim of non-invasive detection of anemia. Instead of a blood test, the app uses photos of someone’s fingernails taken on a smartphone to determine whether the level of hemoglobin in their blood seems low.
The app could facilitate self-management by patients with chronic anemia, allowing them to monitor their disease and to identify the times when they need to adjust their therapies or receive transfusions, the researchers said. That may reduce side effects or complications of having transfusions too early or too late.
The technology could be used by anyone at any time and could be especially appropriate for pregnant women, women with abnormal menstrual bleeding, or runners/athletes. Its simplicity means it could be useful in developing countries.