Cell phones, increasingly essential in our lives, now serve to detect anemia by hemoglobin levels with a simple photograph of the nails. This is done thanks to a new application, according to a study published by Nature.
The new tool, still being tested and developed at Emory University in Atlanta, could replace the traditional "in situ" blood tests currently needed to diagnose and monitor patients with anemia.
To overcome these obstacles, the lead specialist in charge of the project, Wilbur Lam, and his colleagues developed an algorithm that calculates blood hemoglobin concentration by analyzing the color and technical data of the nail beds captured in the photos.
Users, they emphasize, can download on their phones or on any other device the application that activates the mentioned algorithm. Emory University scientists tested this tool on a hundred people and found that it estimates hemoglobin concentrations with a high degree of accuracy, comparable to current methods of detecting anemia.
This tool, they say, would facilitate the diagnosis of anemia in regions that lack specialized equipment and trained personnel, while allowing those affected to control their hemoglobin levels in remote devices in less than a minute.
For now, they need more clinical testing to confirm their accuracy in larger population samples to replace traditional blood tests.