Detect anemia with a photo of the nails thanks to an app

(EFE) .- Mobile phones, increasingly essential in our lives, are now used to detect anemia through levels of hemoglobin with a simple photography of the nails and thanks to a new application still in tests, according to a study published by today nature .

The new device, developed at the University of Atlanta (USA), can replace the traditional blood tests in situ, now needs to diagnose and monitor patients with anemia.

This type of evidence, the authors mention, requires specialized material, is more invasive and its effectiveness often depends on the available economic resources, which gives problems in rural or poor areas, where there are more cases of this disease, which affects more than 2 billion people around the world.

To overcome these obstacles, the chief expert in charge of the project, Wilbur Lama, and his colleagues have developed an algorithm that calculates the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood by analyzing the color and technical data of nail beds captured in snapshots.

The users, they emphasize, will be able to download in their smart phones or in any other mobile device the application that activates the aforementioned algorithm.

The scientists of the Emory University tested this tool for hundreds of people and found that it estimates hemoglobin concentration with a high degree of precision, comparable to current methods for detecting anemia.

In an additional test, which included four participants, the application also showed high precision levels when used to track patients.

This tool, they say, would facilitate the diagnosis of anemia in regions that lack specialized equipment and trained personnel, while allowing the affected to control their hemoglobin levels in remote devices in less than a minute.

At the moment, they need to perform more clinical tests in order to establish their accuracy in larger samples of population, with looking after replacing traditional blood tests. EFE

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