Clinical Grade Urinalysis at Home with Your Smartphone
Smartphones have become surprisingly useful in medicine, but they still remain mostly as assistants to the core process of medicine. They make it easy for clinicians to communicate, absorb information, take notes, and do so many other things. They’re still rarely used for diagnostics, but that’s changing too.
Healthy.io, a company out of Tel Aviv, Israel, has just won the first FDA approval for a smartphone’s camera to be used as a diagnostic tool. The actual product is an at-home urinalysis system that provides results equal to what a hospital lab can do.
The patient pees in a cup, soaks one end of a provided dip stick in the urine, and places the dip stick onto a plastic plate with an bunch of colored spots on it. The dip stick has its own colored test areas, and the color of those will change depending on the presence of particular biomarkers. A complementary smartphone app is then used to take a picture of the plastic plate and dip stick.
The app uses the colored spots on the plastic plate to calibrate for any differences in lighting and smartphone cameras being used. It then accurately assesses any color changes on the dip stick and sends its results to the patient’s healthcare provider. The results can then be used as usual to lead to a diagnosis or to just be a part of the patient’s clinical record.
Here’s a quick video runthrough of how the product works: