Home self-diagnostic tools for blood cholesterol monitoring have been around for over a decade but their widespread adoption has been limited by the relatively high cost of acquiring a quantitative test-strip reader, complicated procedure for operating the device, and inability to easily store and process results.
Forget those clumsy, complicated, home cholesterol-testing devices.
David Erickson and co-workers from Cornell University in New York have developed a simple system that enables people to routinely monitor their blood cholesterol levels, using a smartphone.
They have created the Smartphone Cholesterol Application for Rapid Diagnostics, or “smartCARD,” which employs your smartphone’s camera to read your cholesterol level.
With this, one can now take an accurate iPhone camera selfie that could save ones life – it reads ones cholesterol level in about a minute.
Their system consists of a small accessory device that attaches onto a smartphone, an app, and dry reagent test strips for measuring blood cholesterol levels that are already commercially available. A drop of blood is placed onto the test strip and an enzymatic, colorimetric reaction occurs. This strip is then placed into the accessory device and an image of the strip is generated using the camera on the phone. The app then quantifies the colour change and converts this into a blood cholesterol concentration using a calibration curve.
Erickson and co-workers are now working to commercialise their system, so it may be available for the general public to purchase in the near future.