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2020 30 Under 30: Healthcare

Anemia impacts over a billion people on the planet, but people don’t always know they have it. That’s where Sanguina steps in.

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An App + Your Fingernail = Anemia Screening

Checking for low hemoglobin in the blood — otherwise known as anemia — usually means drawing blood for testing. But scientists say they’ve developed a wireless smartphone app that does the same by “reading” a quick photo of your fingernail.

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Watch: Have anemia? Now there's an app for that!

Dan and Stephanie Schutts’ 2-year old, Bennett, ended up in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta recently when his iron levels dropped dangerously low. He’s one of 3 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with anemia each year.

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Anemia is the most common blood disorder, affecting an estimated 2 billion people who lack enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. It’s usually diagnosed by blood tests, but a new smartphone app can provide a diagnosis just from a photo of people’s fingernails, according to a new paper in Nature Communications.

No bleeding required: Anemia detection via smartphone

Biomedical engineers have developed a smartphone app for the non-invasive detection of anemia. 

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A smartphone app can diagnose anaemia by analysing the colour of a person’s fingernails in a photograph.

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Watch: How a Smartphone Can Detect a Disease That Kills Thousands

Anemia affects up to ⅓ of the world’s population, but tests are expensive and require complicated devices. Now, an app is able to screen for anemia without even drawing blood. It’s the brainchild of Rob Mannino, a postdoctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology who has anemia himself.

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A phone-camera picture of your fingernails could be enough to reveal your iron levels

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Smartphone app could screen for anemia

For people with chronic anemia who want to monitor their condition or those who just suspect they might be anemic, a fast answer could soon come from a smartphone selfie – of their fingernails, researchers say.

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Researchers have a solution for detecting anaemia literally at their fingertips.