A smartphone app that uses a phone’s camera to analyse urine and check for a range of medical conditions has been shown off at the TED (Technology, Education and Design) conference in Los Angeles.
Uchek tests for 25 different health issues and could help diagnose and treat diseases in the developing world.
Increasingly mobile health is being talked up as a lifesaver in such areas.
The app is the brainchild of TED fellow Myshkin Ingawale.
“I wanted to get medical health checks into users’ hands,” he told the BBC.
Urine can be tested for the presence of 10 elements – including glucose, proteins and nitrites.
These can be used to pinpoint a range of conditions including diabetes, urinary tract infects, cancers, liver problems as well as being used to keep track of general health.
Users need to collect their urine and dip a standard test strip into it.
The strip is placed on a mat – supplied with the app and intended to normalise the colours on the stick regardless of lighting conditions where the photo is taken.
Once the photo is taken the app will analyse which, if any, condition, the colour applies to.
The app will be available from Apple’s app store from the end of March for $20 (£13), which includes the cost of the mat and five dipsticks.
As well as being used by individuals, the app will be put through its paces in the King Edward Memorial hospital in Mumbai, India.
There, its accuracy will be tested against the laboratory machines more normally used to test urine.
“If it does well we can make it available to mobile clinics. Instead of buying a $10,000 machine they can use their existing smartphones,” he said.
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