Phone app can diagnose anaemia from photos of fingernails

[New Scientist, 12/4/18] A smartphone app can diagnose anaemia by analysing the colour of a person’s fingernails in a photograph.

Anaemia – a condition in which people have low levels of haemoglobin or not enough healthy red blood cells – affects over two billion people worldwide. If untreated, it can cause severe fatigue, heart problems and complications in pregnancy.

Tests for anaemia require blood samples and specialised equipment that can be hard to access in the low income societies where anaemia is most prevalent. Wilbur Lam of Emory University, Atlanta, and colleagues wondered if smartphones could offer a simple alternative.

Previous studies have shown that the degree of paleness in some body tissues, including the fingernail beds, is a reliable indicator of how anaemic someone is. The skin beneath fingernails does not contain pigment, so haemoglobin – the oxygen-carrying pigment of the blood – is the main source of colour………

Read the Full Article at: New Scientist

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