Smartphone app enables urine analysis on your phone

Urine tests aren't just for the doctor's office anymore--a new app allows you to do it on the go. According to an article in Medical News Today, an Indian startup has developed a smartphone app that allows people to conduct their own urine analysis at home or on the go using conventional dipsticks in order to better manage diseases like diabetes, urinary tract infections and pre-eclampsia.

Called uChek, the app analyzes urine for the presence of up to 10 biomarkers including glucose, protein, ketones, blood, pH, specific gravity, urobilinogen, bilirubin, leukocytes and nitrites. uChek uses a smartphone's camera to take photos of chemical strips that are dipped in a urine sample. The app then compares them to a color-coded map and within a few seconds reports the results.

The app's developer, Myshkin Ingawale, says that in initial testing of 1,200 samples uChek delivered more accurate results than humans looking at the color strips by eye. In addition, Ingawale makes the case that at a cost of just 99 cents for the app, plus $20 for the packet of strips and a color-coded map, uChek is much cheaper than expensive lab-grade equipment.

Designed for use with the iPhone 4, 4s and 5, the app is currently undergoing testing in a Mumbai hospital and making its way through the Apple approval process, according to the article. An Android version is also planned but it will take longer to develop given all the different types of cameras in Android smartphones, the article states.

In related news, a handheld, smartphone-enabled blood-testing system developed by University of Rhode Island researchers could eliminate the days-long wait for test results. What the university calls "lab-on-a-chip technology" needs just a drop of blood for analysis. The blood is placed on a disposable, credit card-sized plastic polymer cartridge and inserted into a hand-held biosensor, where it reacts with reagents so a sensor can detect certain disease biomarkers.

To learn more:
- read the article