Smartphone diagnostics

  • A new technology, called transdermal optical imaging, can turn your smartphone into a device that can measure your blood pressure by analyzing a short video of your face. The University of Toronto-led research has demonstrated the system is 95 percent accurate and an app is already in development.
  • Science
    In order to see how many viruses are present in a patient's biological fluid sample, costly devices such as fluorescence microscopes are typically used – not a good solution for developing nations. That's why scientists have developed an inexpensive smartphone-connected gadget that does the job.
  • Science
    ​As crop plants "breathe" through the pores in their leaves, they release an assortment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. A new smartphone-connected device analyzes those chemicals within a matter of minutes, detecting and identifying any diseases that may be indicated.
  • ​In remote communities, a family doctor may or may not be present, but an ophthalmologist likely isn't. That's why Brazilian startup Phelcom Technologies created the Eyer, a smartphone-connected device that allows patients' retinal-scan images to be analyzed by ophthalmologists via the internet.
  • ​If your child has a persistent cough, it goes without saying that you should check to see if it's anything serious. Taking them to the doctor is the best bet, but an experimental new cough-analyzing smartphone app could help in situations where that isn't possible.
  • ​When McGill University's Dr. Sheila Wang was in medical school, she noticed that doctors simply used rulers to measure patients' diabetic skin ulcers. Figuring that there had to be a more precise, objective method of doing so, she went on to create the new Swift Skin and Wound app.
  • ​Typically, if women want to know if they're ovulating, they have to perform a urine test or a basal body temperature analysis. Scientists at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital are developing what they believe may be a better alternative, in the form of a smartphone-based saliva test.
  • Currently, the most accurate method of checking for anemia is to draw a blood sample and conduct a count of a patient's red blood cells, which contain iron-rich hemoglobin. Soon, however, a smartphone app may be able to non-invasively do the same job.
  • A newly developed smartphone app has shown promise for determining if a person is suffering from a serious heart attack. A study into the app's accuracy revealed it was almost as effective as a traditional electrocardiogram (ECG)​ at identifying a serious form of heart attack.
  • ​It was just last year that we heard about how scientists from Michigan State University had developed a smartphone case/app combo that could measure users' blood pressure. Now, they've created an app that does the job using nothing but an unadorned iPhone.
  • This design for a smart wristband from engineers at Rutgers University promises a new generation of wearable health and environment trackers. The prototype device can wirelessly connect to a smartphone that then processes and displays a broad assortment of biomarkers including blood cell counts.
  • Science
    ​Smartphone-based diagnostic devices allow doctors in resource-poor regions to perform tests that would otherwise involve sending samples away. Most such devices, however, can only analyze individual samples. By contrast, a new one can check 96 samples for diseases, all at one time.