Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Become a member

Prediction of anemia in real-time using a smartphone camera processing conjunctival images

Anemia is defined as a low hemoglobin (Hb) concentration and is highly prevalent worldwide. We report on the performance of a smartphone application (app) that records images in RAW format of the palpebral conjunctivae and estimates Hb concentration by relying upon computation of the tissue surface high hue ratio. Images of bilateral conjunctivae were obtained prospectively from a convenience sample of 435 Emergency Department patients using a dedicated smartphone. A previous computer-based and validated derivation data set associating estimated conjunctival Hb (HBc) and the actual laboratory-determined Hb (HBl) was used in deriving Hb estimations using a self-contained mobile app. Accuracy of HBc was 75.4% (95% CI 71.3, 79.4%) for all categories of anemia, and Bland-Altman plot analysis showed a bias of 0.10 and limits of agreement (LOA) of (-4.73, 4.93g/dL). Analysis of HBc estimation accuracy around different anemia thresholds showed that AUC was maximized at transfusion thresholds of 7 and 9g/dL which showed AUC values of 0.92 and 0.90 respectively. We found that the app is sufficiently accurate for detecting severe anemia and shows promise as a population-sourced screening platform or as a non-invasive point-of care anemia classifier.

PLOS ONE Zhao et al. May 2024
  • Global
  • Research
  • Scientific publication