Snap cholesterol selfies with new smartphone app, device

As with glucose monitoring, the device measures blood on a test strip. Clamped over the smartphone camera, it sends the image to the phone's app, which uses colorimetric analysis to take the cholesterol reading.

(Credit: Cornell University)

New tech being developed at Cornell University aims to bring cholesterol testing to smartphones to make the numbers both more specific and easier to track.

Home cholesterol test kits have been around since the early 1990s, catering to those with high cholesterol levels — which puts them at a higher risk of developing heart disease — who need to check their numbers more than once every few years.

But the majority of home tests take total cholesterol readings only, without separating out the “good,” high-density lipoprotein (HDL, which helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the arteries) from the “bad,” low-density variety (LDL, the main source of building that blocks the arteries), thereby denying home testers a clear picture of their actual cholesterol health.

The mechanical engineers at Cornell have developed a system — the Smartphone Cholesterol Application for Rapid Diagnostics, aka smartCARD — that includes a device that hooks on to a smartphone and uses its camera to capture an image of a… [Read more]

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