uChek harnesses smartphone cameras to make it possible for anyone to check their urine for signs of a number of different diseases.
Startups in the health industry are quickly realizing how useful smartphones can be for getting a quick diagnosis of conditions like anaemia and malaria. A new app called uChek is now making it possible for anyone to check their urine for signs of a number of different diseases. Created by Mumbai-based Biosense and presented at the TED 2013 conference in Los Angeles earlier this year, the app aims to replace the non-mobile and expensive machines that are currently used to scan the chemical strips used for patients’ urine samples, which can cost up to USD 10,000 per device. Customers purchasing the uChek app are provided with a color chart that is used in conjunction with the strips. The chart helps the app to discern the color of the strip in relation to the chart and is able to then make a diagnosis. The app is capable of detecting levels of glucose, proteins and nitrites – among other chemicals – that can indicate the presence of 25 different conditions. The app is currently awaiting approval for iOS devices, but will cost USD 20 – color chart and chemical strips included. Apps like uCheck and line’s Piddle – which won first prize at the Health Hack Day 2012 in Stockholm but has yet to make moves towards market launch – allow healthcare professionals to replace expensive specialist equipment with the device they already carry around with them on a daily basis. Mobile urine checking could facilitate medical help in regions where on-site testing can be vital – especially in poorer countries – as well as enable patients to accurately diagnose themselves. Spotted by: Murtaza Patel