Washington: Engineers have invented a new lifesaving smartphone app that will help the user keep an eye on his or her cholesterol levels with just a selfie.
The Smartphone Cholesterol Application for Rapid Diagnostics, or "smartCARD," reads your cholesterol level in about a minute.
David Erickson, Cornell associate professor of mechanical engineering and senior author on a new peer-reviewed study, said that smartphones have the potential to address health issues by eliminating the need for specialized equipment.
Thanks to advanced, sophisticated camera technology, Erickson and his colleagues have created a smartphone accessory that optically detects biomarkers in a drop of blood, sweat or saliva. The new application then discerns the results using color analysis.
When a user puts a drop of blood on the cholesterol test strip, it processes the blood through separation steps and chemical reactions. The strip is then ready for colorimetric analysis by the smartphone application.
The smartCARD accessory, which looks somewhat like a smartphone credit card reader, clamps over the phone`s camera. Its built-in flash provides uniform, diffused light to illuminate the test strip that fits into the smartCARD reader.
The application in the phone calibrates the hue saturation to the image`s color values on the cholesterol test strip, and the results appear on your phone.
Erickson added that although smartCARD is ready to be brought to market immediately, he is optimistic that it will have even more its advanced capabilities in less than a year.
The study is published online in the journal Lab on a Chip.