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A portable device for common kidney tests

A portable device for common kidney tests | EMRAnswers #HITSM | Scoop.it

A lightweight and field-portable device invented at UCLA that conducts kidney tests and transmits data through a smartphone attachment may significantly reduce the need for frequent office visits by people with diabetes and others with chronic kidney ailments.

The smartphone-based device was developed in the research lab of Aydogan Ozcan, a professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, and associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute. Weighing about one-third of a pound, the gadget can determine levels of albumin in the patient's urine and transmit the results within seconds. Albumin is a protein in blood that is a sign of danger when found in urine.


Ozcan's lab also developed the opto-mechanical phone attachment, disposable test tubes, Android app and software to transmit the data. The research was published this month by the peer-reviewed journal Lab on a Chip ("Albumin testing in urine using a smart-phone").


"Albumin testing is frequently done to assess kidney damage, especially for diabetes patients," Ozcan said. "This device provides an extremely convenient platform for chronic patients at home or in remote locations where cell phones work."


Patients at risk for diabetes, kidney disease and other ailments must regularly provide fluid samples — sometimes more than one a day — to monitor their health, which requires visits to labs or health centers.


The new device projects beams of visible light through two small fluorescent tubes attached to the device, one containing a control liquid and the other a urine sample mixed with fluorescent dyes. The smartphone camera captures the fluorescent light after it passes through an additional lens.


An Android application then processes the raw images in less than one second and the device transmits the test results to a database or health care provider. The test, which measures albumin concentration in urine, is accurate to within less than 10 micrograms per milliliter, according to the research, well within accepted clinical standards used in diagnosing conditions such as microalbuminuria, the excretion of albumin in urine.


The time it takes to conduct a test, including preparation of a sample using a small syringe to inject the urine into a fluorescent tube, is about five minutes. Ozcan estimates that the device — for which his lab also has developed an iPhone app — could be produced commercially for $50 to $100 per unit.

 


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ICMCC News Page » Overcoming hurdles to mHealth adoption

ICMCC News Page » Overcoming hurdles to mHealth adoption | EMRAnswers #HITSM | Scoop.it
ICMCC, International Council on Medical & Care Compunetics (Overcoming hurdles to mHealth adoption http://t.co/4IL8WrcC #healthit #mhealth...)...
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From The Blog: A skeptic finds mHealth success

From The Blog: A skeptic finds mHealth success | EMRAnswers #HITSM | Scoop.it

I spend more time with my iPhone than with any one person, and you probably do too. It’s in my pocket if I’m walking, it’s in my console if I’m driving and it’s on my nightstand when I’m sleeping. It’s a love-hate affair.

 

Yet, I often edit and publish articles about the potential that mobile health, or mHealth, apps have to change people’s health choices, but I’m personally skeptical of the hype because the focus is on the technology itself, rather than on the user who actually thinks technology can help him become healthy. The fact that 38% of mobile apps are not used after the first day and 90% are abandoned after six months simply reinforces the lack of faith I have in smart phones and tablets miraculously changing how most Americans treat their bodies.

 

Read more of what changed my mind on the blog.


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Introducing the iPhone doctor: How smartphones are changing medicine

Introducing the iPhone doctor: How smartphones are changing medicine | EMRAnswers #HITSM | Scoop.it

From Ragan Healthcare Communication: The latest additions to the smartphone app market may just end up saving your life.

 

Your smartphone can become a head-to-toe health care tool. From monitoring your ears with CellScope, your sleep habits with Zeo Sleep Manger or Sleep Cycle, your eating habits with My Fitness Pal or The Eatery or your fertility with DuoFertility Monitor, the mHealth (the use of mobile technology in health care) is growing.

 

According Fast Co., mobile health technology is currently a $2 billion of the $273 billion medical-device industry. And that number is skyrocketing. Experts believe the number will continue to grow as smart phones get smarter and patients take their health into their own hands.

 

Up next? The FDA plans to release a rigorous set of guidelines for mobile health applications later this year. A more formalized process will make entering the market easier and energize the mHealth market.


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