Mobile can check haemoglobin level without drawing blood
Fear of needles keeps most people away from getting their annual check ups. They keep on procrastinating till the time it does not become an absolute necessity and some even skip it without realising how important it is.
If you are one of those who are scared of needles, then there is good news for you. Researchers have claimed that they can asses a person’s haemoglobin level by using a smartphone image of their eyelids. Researchers have claimed that they can asses a person’s haemoglobin level by using a smartphone image of their eyelids. If the claims are right then at least it would become easy for all the Trypanophobics to get their haemoglobin level tested without even visiting the clinic.
The new tool
This new tool of testing the haemoglobin is developed by the researchers of the University of Indianapolis, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in the US and Moi University School of Medicine in Kenya. The researchers transformed the built-in camera of a smartphone into a hyperspectral imager with the help of a software. The hyperspectral imager helps to measure the haemoglobin level in the blood without any additional hardware.
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This technique was tested on 153 volunteers who were prescribed conventional blood tests. In the end, it was found that the smartphone health test could provide information about a wide variety of blood haemoglobin values. However, it was also noticed that there was only 5 to 10 per cent error in the outcome.
How this tool works
Spectroscopic analysis is most commonly used to measure blood haemoglobin content. But this type of analysis mostly requires bulky optical equipment. For the smartphone, the researchers used spectral super-resolution spectroscopy. This technique virtually converts low-resolution photos into high-resolution digital spectral signals.
When you click the picture of the inner eyelid, which is considered as the most sensitive site as microvasculature is easily visible there, it can easily provide you with the haemoglobin level.
After clicking the picture, the software in the smartphone applies spectral super-resolution algorithm to extract the information from the image and then another computational algorithm quantifies the blood haemoglobin level.
If this research turns out to be successful to be then it can help in remote testing of blood haemoglobin levels for detecting anaemia and other diseases.