Young Kim, PhD: mHematology Technology and Assessing for Anemia


Young Kim, PhD, discusses the use of a smartphone app that helps clinicians assess patients for anemia.

New research suggests a smartphone app could one day help clinicians perform rapid assessments for anemia without the need for a blood test.

Called mHematology, the app allows clinicians to take a picture of the patient’s inner eyelid with a smartphone and receive blood hemoglobin (Hgb) measurements without the need for additional equipment.

“This technology won’t replace a conventional blood test, but it gives a comparable hemoglobin count right away and is noninvasive and real-time,” said Young Kim, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue University, in a statement. “Depending on the hospital setting, it can take a few hours to get results from a blood test. Some situations also may require multiple blood tests, which lead to more blood loss.”

To assess the ability of this technology, which uses the phone’s camera to perform a spectroscopic analysis, investigators designed a study including 153 patients from the Moi University Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya. When this cohort of patients took a blood test, a clinician also took a picture of the patient’s inner eyelid to further train the algorithm.

Investigators then compared the results of the mHematology against the results of blood tests to determine the accuracy of the app. Additional studies are either ongoing or in development to further assess this technology in patients at an Indiana University medical center and a hospital in India.

To learn more about this technology and its accuracy, HCPLive® reached out to Kim and that conversation is the subject of the most recent HCPLive House Call.

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