Detect chronic kidney disease at home

Researchers in Adelaide have built a smartphone-based medical device could help chronic kidney disease patients monitor their condition in the comfort of their own homes.

“Our device means that patients are not required to visit healthcare facilities or spend a long time waiting for the results,” says Anh Tran Tam Pham of Flinders University.

Chronic kidney disease can be a silent killer, because the disease’s symptoms only become visible when the kidney has lost up to 90 per cent of its function.

But current methods of detecting the disease require large amount of time for patients and medical staff, and can be very expensive. The new device set out to solve these problems.

Anh’s current prototype—which works by using a smartphone app to analyse photos of urine samples and biomarker chemicals—has given good results of high sensitivity and precision in detecting the disease.

The design does not require high-tech facilities to fabricate, which means it could be useful in developing countries where the healthcare conditions are limited.

The prototype is now undergoing further tests of precision and performance stability.

“We want to lay a firm base before we apply for a patent,” Anh says.

Banner image credit: Flinders University

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