Cellphones Will Soon Be Able to Detect Anemia
29 Jul, 2012 - 10:25pm
Modern world, new technology, and new invention – for the undergraduates of John Hopkins biomedical engineering, what else can be more fulfilling than being able to discover an innovative method in detecting presence of anemia among women in developing countries.
HemoGlobe is the latest innovation in the health world. The invention of this device is meant to easily detect anemia. This device is intended to transform cellphones of medical practitioners into a kind of system that can accurately identify and record iron deficiency in the blood. HemoGlobe’s sensor, when positioned on the fingertip, sends out various wavelengths of light to the skin in order to assess the level of hemoglobin present in the blood. The result will immediately appear on the phone’s screen by way of color codes. These codes indicate the severity of anemia in women.
Upon detection of anemia, the patient will be asked to undergo a treatment session. This treatment will involve iron supplements maintenance and hospital visitations in which hemoglobin level will be monitored. With HemoGlobe, the phone, via text message, provides an accurate map revealing the site where anemia is dominant. This data is very beneficial in facilitating health progress.
According to many health specialists, anemia has been a contributing factor to the death of over a hundred thousand mothers and 600,000 newborns annually. The new invention is believed to have influential impacts to millions of health professionals all throughout the world to safely and instantly recognize such perilous condition particularly in pregnant mothers and their babies.
These cellphone-based systems, according to innovators of this device, can be created or installed for $10 to $20. HemoGlobe’s health benefits won the heart of judges at the recently concluded Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development competition. Thus, the young inventors of John Hopkins obtained a seed grant of $250,000 for the project. This grand evident was subsidized by well-known health organizations and participated by more than 500 entrants coming from 60 different countries. Among the 500 entrants, only 12 of them obtained seed grants.
The young innovators of John Hopkins’ biomedical engineering class spent some time doing series of brainstorming and constructing a model. The cash awarded to them opened the door for the enhancement of its technology and support field testing.
Anemia happens when an individual has only a number of healthy erythrocytes that transport oxygen to the different parts of the body. This is usually caused by iron deficiency which when left untreated, can create several complications to mothers especially prior to and during delivery. Even if the newborn survives birth delivery, it will soon face more serious health disorders.
To answer the call of anemia prevention in developing nations, health professionals have made iron supplements available. Routine check-up is also conducted to examine pregnant women for possible occurrence of anemia. For developing countries, detection of anemia often seemed impossible. But with HemoGlobe’s invention, health workers can now access and record hemoglobin levels in the blood by simply using their electronic handheld device.