After testing urine, saliva or other bodily fluid with a colorimetric test, the user simply takes a picture of the test with their phone's camera. The app analyses the colours of the test, compares them with a pre-recorded calibration, and displays a numerical result on the phone's screen. The result can then be stored, sent to a healthcare professional, or directly analysed by the phone for diagnosis.
The app can be used in home, clinical, or resource-limited settings, and is available for both Android and iOS operating systems. It has been shown to accurately report glucose, protein and pH concentrations from commercially-available urine test strips without requiring any external hardware, the first time that a mobile phone app has been used in this way in a laboratory setting. Details were recently published in the journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical.
Beyond laboratory applications, the app could also be used by patients to monitor chronic conditions such as diabetes, or as a public health tool, by enabling the transmission of medical data to health professionals in real time.
"This app has the potential to help in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in the developing world, bringing the concept of mobile healthcare to reality," said Ali Yetisen, a PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology, who led the research. "By quickly getting medical data from the field to doctors or centralised laboratories, it may help slow or limit the spread of pandemics."
In addition to medical applications, the researchers are planning to publicly release the app so that it can be used for other colorimetric tests such as laboratory kits, veterinary diagnostics and environmental screening tools.
"This app can substitute for laboratory equipment, saving mone
|Contact: Sarah Collins|
University of Cambridge