Anemia, a deficiency of red cells or hemoglobin in blood is the most common blood-related medical condition in the world as the World Health Organization (WHO) believes it affects more than a quarter of the human race. Earlier this week, several scientists from the University of Washington announced that they've made another important step towards fighting this annoying blood disorder. Namely, these experts have managed to develop a medical app which serves as a portable anemia detector. Better yet, it works with pretty much any modern smartphone equipped with a flash.
Simply called HemaApp, this curious creation can detect anemia by simply lighting the patient's skin with a phone flash. After lighting the subject area, the app proceeds to analyze the patient's blood by making a lot of complex calculations whose goal is to estimate hemoglobin concentrations in the blood itself. If the concentrations are too low, HemaApp signals the likelihood of anemia to medical professionals. Experts at the University of Washington believe the app is rather accurate in its estimates and have concluded that it works even better when installed on a phone equipped with a LED lighting accessory. That is because the extra light gives HemaApp even more data on what's hiding under the patient's skin. Naturally, a stronger flash such as a Xenon LED one would improve the app's accuracy even further. HemaApp developers claim this method of anemia detection is revolutionary not just because it's completely non-invasive but also because it's by far the cheapest such alternative on the market. Consequently, they are hoping the app will be especially useful to medical professionals in poor, developing countries.
While HemaApp is already an impressive achievement in modern medicine, the researchers behind the project aren't planning to sit on their laurels. In fact, they've already announced plans to improve their creation by making it capable of detecting numerous other blood disorders using the same technique. Naturally, this solution is not 100% accurate but will still help in filtering through patients who definitely don't suffer from anemia so that only borderline cases and those the app deems as anemic will have to take a blood test to confirm their diagnosis.