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Devices turn iPhones into an electrocardiogram and urinalysis reader

Posted on 24th May 2015 at 19:00pm

A start-up company called Scanadu has created products, as well as two iPhone apps, that work together to enable users to collect physiological information about themselves or others, and to be alerted to any anomalies and deviations that could be cause for health concerns.

Scanadu Scout, a small electronic device that users touch to their forehead for a few seconds, uses Bluetooth to send physiological parameters – including temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation, respiratory rate, ECG, and diastolic/systolic blood pressure – to the Scanadu Scout app.

Users touch the Scanadu Scout to their forehead for a few seconds, then the device sends physiological parameters to the company's app (photo: Scanadu) 

Scanaflo, Scanadu’s other product, provides users with a home urinalysis apparatus. It uses the iPhone’s camera to image a set of colour strips that are dipped in the patient’s urine. The colour strip test indicates the levels of glucose, protein, leukocytes, nitrites, blood, bilirubin, urobilinogen, microalbumin, creatinine, ketone, specific gravity, and pH in urine.

Both of Scanadu’s product offerings could provide healthcare workers who are responding to disasters with added information about their patients in a timely manner. Both devices work within minutes: Scout provides its results after being held against the patient’s forehead for less than a minute, and Scanaflo provides results after the urine-dipped colour strip sits for one minute. As these apps are both fast-working and extremely portable, they could greatly assist healthcare workers in disaster-struck areas. 

Edited by Dr Ian Portelli and Megan Mantaro

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