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Students create cheap anemia detection system using a cellphone

first_imgA low cost screening device connected to a cell phone could save hundreds of lives in developing countries from anemia, a deadly blood disorder.The device, named HemoGlobe, was developed by biomedical engineering students and it’s designed to convert health workers’ cellphones into a system for detecting anemia. This saves a lot of money compared to dedicated screening hardware or tests, and means no needles are required to take blood samples. It also means anemia can be detected almost instantly, whereas blood tests can take up to a few days, saving time for health workers and getting the patients treated more quickly.HemoGlobe works using a sensor placed on the patient’s fingertip. Different wavelengths of light are then shone through the skin to measure hemoglobin levels. The phone’s screen shows a color-coded result, rating anemia from mild to moderate, and even severe. After the test is complete, the phone sends a text message with the results to a central server in order to compile a map showing where anemia is present and its concentrations within different areas.Anemia occurs when someone doesn’t have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin in their blood, causing low oxygen levels and making them feel weak/light headed. If your oxygen levels are very low it can lead to a heart attack. When pregnant women suffer with this condition it can lead to birth complications and if they lose a lot of blood in the process, the mother can die. Anemic babies can also suffer serious health issues. With this detection system, anemia can be treated quickly by administrating iron supplements. If the condition is found to be particularly bad, a visit to a clinic can be arranged for further treatment.This system is important for testing newborns and pregnant women for the condition in developing countries, and could be manufactured for between $10-$20, saving or improving a lot of lives for very little investment.The Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development competition has warded this Johns Hopkins student’s project with a grant of $250,000. The seed grant will allow the inventors to improve and test the system in Kenya next year.via Kurzweillast_img

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