Smart Phones Can Now Detect Anemia in Children - medtigo



Smart Phones Can Now Detect Anemia in Children

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Using smartphone images, a non-invasive diagnostic tool could potentially identify the early beginnings of anemia in children, according to a recent study.  

Anemia is a medical disorder that occurs when the body does not create enough healthy red blood cells, which frequently results in weariness and fragility. Lack of healthy blood cells causes a deficiency in oxygen, resulting in a variety of symptoms, such as dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, and irregular pulse. It affects over two billion people worldwide and approximately three million in the United States.  

The severity of the illness varies, and lesser cases may be treated with vitamins, iron supplements, or pharmaceuticals. In cases of severe anemia, a blood transfusion or injections may be necessary. Anemia in children can result in significant developmental difficulties, including cognitive impairment and susceptibility to infectious infections. Iron deficiency is the most prevalent cause of anemia, although blood loss, malaria, and sickle-cell disease can all result in the condition.  

Blood samples are required to detect anemia, thus, a trip to the hospital or doctor’s office is required. This can sometimes lead to inequities in health, as not everyone has access to nearby healthcare or the financial means to attend the hospital.  

The new technique, developed by researchers at University College London and the University of Ghana, employs smartphone images of people’s eyes and faces. Previously, they created an app called neoSCB that detects jaundice in babies. This new noninvasive diagnostic tool makes anemia diagnosis more accessible and affordable.  

Using the light-absorption properties of hemoglobin, the team intended to build a method that might use a simple smartphone photograph to identify anemia. Hemoglobin’s light-absorption characteristics emit a distinct color, enabling scientists to detect the existence of anemia. In Ghana’s Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, 62 young toddlers were chosen for the study.  

The photo quality of just 43 patients met the criteria and was utilized to diagnose the existence of anemia. Photos of their eyes and lips, where pigmentation is dispersed, were taken. With only a smartphone and a Naive Bayes classifier, the researchers performed an anemia screening. The research team discovered that targeting these regions to anticipate the blood’s hemoglobin concentration enabled the diagnosis of anemia. The new method detected milder anemia instances, which may be advantageous for future research.  

Our results add to the growing body of evidence demonstrating that smartphone colorimetry is likely a viable tool for expanding access to anemia screening. There is considerable dispute over the optimal technique for extracting features from photos, particularly with regard to various patient populations.  

Thomas Wemyss, lead author from UCL, concludes: “Smartphones are popular worldwide, yet research utilizing smartphone imaging to diagnose diseases demonstrates a general trend of difficulties in translating results to diverse populations.

We are thrilled to find these encouraging results in a demographic that is frequently underrepresented in smartphone diagnostics research. A smartphone-based anemia screening method that is both inexpensive and dependable could lead to long-term improvements in the quality of life for a significant number of individuals.” 



Free CME credits

Both our subscription plans include Free CME/CPD AMA PRA Category 1 credits.

Digital Certificate PDF

On course completion, you will receive a full-sized presentation quality digital certificate.

medtigo Simulation

A dynamic medical simulation platform designed to train healthcare professionals and students to effectively run code situations through an immersive hands-on experience in a live, interactive 3D environment.

medtigo Points

medtigo points is our unique point redemption system created to award users for interacting on our site. These points can be redeemed for special discounts on the medtigo marketplace as well as towards the membership cost itself.
  • Registration with medtigo = 10 points
  • 1 visit to medtigo’s website = 1 point
  • Interacting with medtigo posts (through comments/clinical cases etc.) = 5 points
  • Attempting a game = 1 point
  • Community Forum post/reply = 5 points

    *Redemption of points can occur only through the medtigo marketplace, courses, or simulation system. Money will not be credited to your bank account. 10 points = $1.

All Your Certificates in One Place

When you have your licenses, certificates and CMEs in one place, it's easier to track your career growth. You can easily share these with hospitals as well, using your medtigo app.

Our Certificate Courses