September 23, 2017 |
New Smartphone App Can Detect Newborn Jaundice in Minutes
September 3, 2014  | 

Seattle, WA - University of Washington engineers and physicians have developed a smartphone application that checks for jaundice in newborns and can deliver results to parents and pediatricians within minutes. It could serve as a screening tool to determine whether a baby needs a blood test – the gold standard for detecting high levels of bilirubin.

“Virtually every baby gets jaundiced, and we’re sending them home from the hospital even before bilirubin levels reach their peak,” said James Taylor, a UW professor of pediatrics and medical director of the newborn nursery at UW Medical Center. “This smartphone test is really for babies in the first few days after they go home. A parent or health care provider can get an accurate picture of bilirubin to bridge the gap after leaving the hospital.”

The research team will present its results at the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing in September in Seattle.

The app, called BiliCam, uses a smartphone’s camera and flash and a color calibration card the size of a business card. A parent or health care professional would download the app, place the card on her baby’s belly, then take a picture with the card in view. The card calibrates and accounts for different lighting conditions and skin tones. Data from the photo are sent to the cloud and are analyzed by machine-learning algorithms, and a report on the newborn’s bilirubin levels is sent almost instantly to the parent’s phone. Continue>

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