Take a simple selfie to screen for anaemia

Two Monash University medical students who last week won the Microsoft Imagine Cup for their Eyenaemia app have also won the quantitive self category in the Health Informatics Society of Australia's (HISA) Apps Challenge, with the overall winner to be announced at the Health Informatics Conference (HIC) in Melbourne next week.

Monash students Jarrel Seah and Jennifer Tang picked up $50,000 in prize money for their app, which is able to analyse the pallor of the conjunctiva of the eye and calculate the risk of anaemia.

While the app – which measures conjunctival pallor by asking users to take a selfie of their eye along with a colour standard, and then calculates haemoglobin levels – can be used by anyone, including pregnant women and children, it has been designed to be simple to use and could easily be used as a screening tool in the developing world to target conditions such as malarial anaemia.

Each user has an an account, stored in the cloud, so they can regularly monitor their haemoglobin levels. The user's target haemoglobin levels are customised according to WHO guidelines for the diagnosis of anaemia.

It has also been validated, the duo says, and can objectively evaluate the colour of the conjunctiva and return the same result every time.

Mr Seah and Ms Tang went up against 125 students and 34 teams in the Imagine Cup world finals, which were held at Microsoft's TechReady19 in Washington State last week. The Eyenaemia app won the world citizenship category and then went up against two other teams: the winner of the games category, Brainy Studio from Russia, and the innovation category, Estimeet from New Zealand.

Eyenaemia will go up against the winners of the other three HISA App Challenge categories – 14-year-old Dhruv Verma for his PROTEGO app for monitoring older people at home; the DoseMe app for personalised medications dosing; and the Traffic Light app that allows diabetics to monitor their carbohydrate intake – with the overall winner announced at HIC next Wednesday night.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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