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Smartphone app to test pee for diseases

Written by: QMI Agency
Feb. 27, 2013

A new app that can test urine for health problems is the latest advancement in the field of mobile health, which aims to "democratize health care."

Developed by Mumbai's Myshkin Ingawale, co-founder of a medical device startup that creates non-invasive diagnostics for the developing world, uChek uses your smartphone's camera to test colour changes in your urine at set points in the day.

The app, which will sell for about $20 on iTunes in March, comes with a colour mat and five dipsticks. An Android version is still in the works.

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Users dip the stick into a urine sample, place it on the colour mat, and snap a picture against a white background.

Within minutes, the app provides a breakdown of your glucose, ketones and protein levels, and more. With that, it can help identify up to 25 health problems, such as diabetes and urinary tract infections. It can also help people with diabetes manage their condition.

The same kind of test can be done by reading the colour strip yourself, but it's not as accurate. Sophisticated machinery is more accurate, but that means long waits and potentially thousands of dollars.

The field of mobile health is rapidly growing, with apps that can test heartbeat, monitor sleep patterns and more.

The mobile technology group Groupe Speciale Mobile told the BBC mobile health care could save millions of lives, especially in developping countries, where health care can be inaccessible.

"The medical device industry operates on proprietary, closed hardware and a recurring revenue business model," Ingawale told Wired magazine. "I am trying to democratize health care."

 

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