Researchers have reported data from a trial with 100 newborns for an app that can detect jaundice.
It was found that the app had greater accuracy in detecting jaundice than visual exams performed by doctors. It also matched the accuracy of blood tests for bilirubin. High levels of bilirubin can indicate that that the liver isn’t functioning properly and signifies jaundice.
The app works by using a smartphone with a camera and flash to take pictures of the newborn’s chest with a colour calibrator – a sheet about the size of a business card with eight different colours. The software processes the images and creates a report.
The University of Seattle team working on the app, dubbed BiliCam, believe it will someday be useful in calming parent anxiety and reducing healthcare costs
The BiliCam research was funded in part by Coulter Foundation and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
The smartphone application is still in development but may someday help parents and healthcare providers screen for jaundice in newborns.