Breaking News
December 17, 2018 - How the Mediterranean Diet Can Help Women’s Hearts
December 17, 2018 - Sustained connections associated with symptoms of autism
December 17, 2018 - Concussion rates among young football players were higher than previously reported
December 17, 2018 - Cresco Labs granted approval to operate marijuana dispensary in Ohio
December 17, 2018 - Study provides insight into health risks facing new mothers
December 17, 2018 - AMSBIO expands Wnt signaling pathway product range to aid research
December 16, 2018 - Surgical treatment unnecessary for many prostate cancer patients
December 16, 2018 - Excess weight responsible for cancers globally finds report
December 16, 2018 - Regular sex associated with greater enjoyment of life in seniors
December 16, 2018 - Social stigma contributes to poor mental health in the autistic community
December 16, 2018 - Multidisciplinary team successfully performs complex surgery on patient suffering from enlarged skull
December 16, 2018 - Experts analyze data that can guide antidepressant discontinuation
December 16, 2018 - Menlo Therapeutics’ Successful Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Serlopitant Demonstrates Reduction of Pruritus Associated with Psoriasis
December 16, 2018 - Siblings of children with autism or ADHD are at elevated risk for both disorders
December 16, 2018 - New project aims to understand why and how metabolic disorders develop in patients
December 16, 2018 - Diets containing GM maize have no harmful effects on health or metabolism of rats
December 16, 2018 - Are doctors and teachers confusing immaturity and attention deficit?
December 16, 2018 - Hearing loss linked with increased risk for premature death
December 16, 2018 - Chromatrap buffer reagents for lysing cells offer many benefits
December 16, 2018 - Young Breast Cancer Patients Face Higher Risk for Osteoporosis
December 16, 2018 - 3-D printing offers helping hand to people with arthritis
December 16, 2018 - Community Health Choice helps manage complex and chronic care conditions
December 16, 2018 - Regular trips out could dramatically reduce depression in older age
December 16, 2018 - CWRU to use VivaLNK’s Vital Scout device for stress study in student athletes
December 16, 2018 - ‘Easy Way Out’? Stigma May Keep Many From Weight Loss Surgery
December 16, 2018 - Gout drug may protect against chronic kidney disease
December 16, 2018 - Talking about memories enhances the wellbeing of older and younger people
December 16, 2018 - Occupational exposure to pesticides increases risk for cardiovascular disease among Latinos
December 16, 2018 - A biomarker in the brain’s circulation system may be Alzheimer’s earliest warning
December 16, 2018 - Magnesium may play important role in optimizing vitamin D levels, study shows
December 16, 2018 - The effect of probiotics on intestinal flora of premature babies
December 16, 2018 - Parents spend more time talking with kids about mechanics of using mobile devices
December 16, 2018 - Biohaven Announces Positive Results from Ongoing Rimegepant Long-Term Safety Study
December 16, 2018 - Arterial stiffness may predict dementia risk
December 16, 2018 - Study explores link between work stress and increased cancer risk
December 16, 2018 - Sex work criminalization linked to incidences of violence finds study
December 16, 2018 - Johns Hopkins researchers discover swarming behavior in fish-dwelling parasite
December 16, 2018 - Schistosomiasis prevention and treatment could help control HIV
December 16, 2018 - Early postpartum opioids linked with persistent usage
December 16, 2018 - Johns Hopkins researchers identify molecular causes of necrotizing enterocolitis in preemies
December 16, 2018 - Advanced illumination expands capabilities of light-sheet microscopy
December 16, 2018 - Alzheimer’s could possibly be spread via contaminated neurosurgery
December 16, 2018 - Unraveling the complexity of cancer biology can prompt new avenues for drug development
December 16, 2018 - Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Prostate Cancer Linked
December 16, 2018 - Cannabis youth prevention strategy should target mental wellbeing
December 15, 2018 - Recent developments and challenges in hMAT inhibitors
December 15, 2018 - Sewage bacteria found lurking in Hudson River sediments
December 15, 2018 - CDC selects UMass Amherst biostatistician model that helps predict influenza outbreaks
December 15, 2018 - Researchers reveal brain mechanism that drives itch-evoked scratching behavior
December 15, 2018 - New computer model helps predict course of the disease in prostate cancer patients
December 15, 2018 - Obesity to Blame for Almost 1 in 25 Cancers Worldwide
December 15, 2018 - How the brain tells you to scratch that itch
December 15, 2018 - New findings could help develop new immunotherapies against cancer
December 15, 2018 - World’s largest AI-powered medical research network launched by OWKIN
December 15, 2018 - Young people suffering chronic pain battle isolation and stigma as they struggle to forge their identities
December 15, 2018 - Lifespan extension at low temperatures depends on individual’s genes, study shows
December 15, 2018 - New ingestible capsule can be controlled using Bluetooth wireless technology
December 15, 2018 - Researchers uncover microRNAs involved in the control of social behavior
December 15, 2018 - Research offers hope for patients with serious bone marrow cancer
December 15, 2018 - Link between poverty and obesity is only about 30 years old, study shows
December 15, 2018 - Mass spectrometry throws light on old case of intentional heavy metal poisoning
December 15, 2018 - BeyondSpring Announces Phase 3 Study 105 of its Lead Asset Plinabulin for Chemotherapy-Induced Neutropenia Meets Primary Endpoint at Interim Analysis
December 15, 2018 - Study finds that in treating obesity, one size does not fit all
December 15, 2018 - Tenacity and flexibility help maintain psychological well-being, mobility in older people
December 15, 2018 - Study reveals role of brain mechanism in memory recall
December 15, 2018 - High levels of oxygen encourage the brain to remain in deep, restorative sleep
December 15, 2018 - Experimental HIV vaccine strategy works in non-human primates, research shows
December 15, 2018 - Genetically modified pigs could limit replication of classical swine fever virus, study shows
December 15, 2018 - FDA Approves Herzuma (trastuzumab-pkrb), a Biosimilar to Herceptin
December 15, 2018 - Cost and weight-loss potential matter most to bariatric surgery patients
December 15, 2018 - Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca open new Functional Genomics Centre
December 15, 2018 - New research lays out potential path for treatment of Huntington’s disease
December 15, 2018 - Prestigious R&D 100 Award presented to Leica Microsystems
December 15, 2018 - Study shows septin proteins detect and kill gut pathogen, Shigella
December 15, 2018 - Study sheds new light on disease-spreading mosquitoes
December 15, 2018 - 2017 Saw Slowing in National Health Care Spending
December 15, 2018 - Monitoring movement reflects efficacy of mandibular splint
December 15, 2018 - Study supports BMI as useful tool for assessing obesity and health
December 15, 2018 - Self-guided, internet-based therapy platforms effectively reduce depression
December 15, 2018 - Organically farmed food has bigger climate impact than conventional food production
An App, Your Fingernail — and Anemia Screening Is Done

An App, Your Fingernail — and Anemia Screening Is Done

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5, 2018 — Checking for low hemoglobin in the blood — otherwise known as anemia — usually means drawing blood for testing.

But scientists say they’ve developed a wireless smartphone app that does the same by “reading” a quick photo of your fingernail.

The app converts fingernail colors into quick readings of blood hemoglobin levels, according to researchers at Emory University in Atlanta. They said the technology could be used by anyone at any time, but its use right now is limited to screening, not a formal diagnosis of anemia.

Anemia is a blood condition affecting 2 billion people worldwide. If untreated, it can lead to fatigue, paleness and heart problems.

Typical methods of screening for anemia “require external equipment, and represent trade-offs between invasiveness, cost and accuracy,” lead researcher Dr. Wilbur Lam, associate professor of pediatrics, explained in an Emory news release.

But the new app has an accuracy that’s “on par with currently available point-of-care tests, without the need to draw blood,” Lam said.

The investigators believe the app could be useful for screening pregnant women, women with abnormal menstrual bleeding, or runners and other athletes. Its simplicity also means it could help people in developing countries.

The app could be available for download as soon as spring 2019, the researchers said.

One member of the development team, Rob Mannino, had a personal stake in the technology’s success. The former biomedical engineering graduate student has an inherited blood disorder called beta-thalassemia.

“Treatment for my disease requires monthly blood transfusions,” Mannino explained in the news release. “My doctors would test my hemoglobin levels more if they could, but it’s a hassle for me to get to the hospital in between transfusions to receive this blood test. Instead, my doctors currently have to just estimate when I’m going to need a transfusion, based on my hemoglobin level trends.”

In the new study, published Dec. 4 in Nature Communications, Lam’s team used data on 237 people — some anemic, some not — to develop an algorithm that converted fingernail color to represent blood hemoglobin levels.

It was then tested on 100 patients and proved highly accurate in people with both dark and light skin tones, the research team said. That’s because the nail bed does not contain melanin, which gives skin its color.

The app should enable patients with chronic anemia to monitor themselves to know when they need to adjust their therapies or receive transfusions. This could reduce side effects or complications of having transfusions too early or too late, Lam’s team said.

Mannino’s experience proved integral to the research.

“This whole project couldn’t have been done by anyone but Rob,” Lam said. “He took pictures of himself before and after transfusions as his hemoglobin levels were changing, which enabled him to constantly refine and tweak his technology on himself in a very efficient manner. So essentially, he was his own perfect initial test subject with each iteration of the app.”

One doctor who often treats anemia in children was optimistic about the new technology, with one caveat.

Dr. Michael Grosso directs pediatrics at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y. He agreed that “the availability of a rapid, accurate and non-invasive anemia screening test could have significant benefits.”

But he was concerned that the app might miss more subtle forms of anemia.

“It turns out that mild iron deficiency can affect the body without triggering anemia, and children in that situation would be missed by the non-invasive test,” Grosso said. “So, the smartphone test definitely falls short of the tried-and-true blood count, but it is better than no test at all.”

For their part, Lam and colleagues said further research, conducted with a variety of patient types, is ongoing. That means the app’s sensitivity and accuracy should improve with time.

“This is just a snapshot of the accuracy right now,” Lam said. “The algorithm gets smarter with every patient enrolled.”

The research was funded in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Lam and Mannino have filed a patent application for the anemia app, and will have financial interest in its success.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more on anemia.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: December 2018

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles