Smartphones will soon become mobile laboratories which can monitor bone density, calculate red blood cell levels and even predict if an asthma attack is imminent.
Scientists are repurposing the technology which already exists within phones, such as accelerometers, camera flashes and microphones to use as medical tools.
Professor Shwetak Patel, of the University of Washington is currently devising an app which can detect red blood cell levels simply by placing a finger over the camera and flash, so that a bright beam of light shines through the skin. Such a blood screening tool could quickly spot anaemia.
“You can do pulmonary assessment using the microphone on a mobile device, for diagnosing asthma. If think about people having an asthma attack, if you could monitor their lung function at home you can actually get in front of that, before somebody has an asthma attack.”
Source: The Telegraph