Saturday, August 29, 2015

A selfie for your health

A new smartphone device can measure cholesterol and vitamin D levels

Your smartphone can now check your vitamin D and cholesterol levels.
Your smartphone can now check your vitamin D and cholesterol levels. Inside Science
Video: A selfie for your health

(Inside Science TV) – From selfies, to games, to measuring heart rate and calories burned, today's smartphone apps can do a lot of things.

Now, researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York have developed a device that can add testing cholesterol and vitamin D levels to your phone's already impressive list of functions.

"What this is really about is enabling you to obtain health information about yourself quickly," said David Erickson, a biomedical engineer at Cornell.

Using a device that looks like a credit card reader and that fits over a smartphone camera users are able to get cholesterol and vitamin D level results from a single drop of blood.

More coverage
  • Apple, Google, Samsung vie to bring health apps to wearables
  • “In two minutes it spits out…what your cholesterol level is today, right now," said Erickson.

    To work the device, a user drops a blood sample on a test strip laced with chemicals designed to react a certain way. Then, the user takes a picture of the test strip with his or her smartphone. The device processes the image of the blood reacting to the test strip, determines cholesterol or vitamin D levels from that image, and displays the results.

    The technology also works with drops of saliva or sweat.

    “It gives you information about your healthcare very rapidly, secondly it does it much cheaper,” Erickson said.

    Researchers expect to make the device affordable and available to consumers in a few years.

    “We wanted a simple system that allows you to measure your levels at home," explained Seoho Lee, a mechanical engineering student at Cornell.

    Researchers are also developing the technology to give test results for other vitamins and infectious diseases.

    Reprinted with permission from Inside Science, an editorially independent news product of the American Institute of Physics, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing, promoting and serving the physical sciences.

    Inside Science
    We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
    Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

    Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

    Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

    Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

    Read 0 comments
    comments powered by Disqus
    Latest Health Videos
    Also on
    letter icon Newsletter