Diabetes has now become a common problem among people all over the world. It is estimated that 1 out of 3 people are having diabetes and they don’t know it and suffer without treatment. A study broadcasted in the University Of California San Francisco describes a digital biomarker that will take the help of smart-phone cameras to detect diabetes in a person.
This would be such an amazing way of detecting diabetes in a person without any pain. Diabetes is one of the highest causes of death around the world as declared by the WHO. It also increases the rate of risk in heart disease.
Robert Avram lead author and the cardiologist said “Diabetes can be symptomless for a long period of time, making it a lot more difficult to diagnose”. He also added – Nowadays there is a lack of tools which does not involve the introduction of instruments into the body to detect diabetes which motivated us to develop this algorithm.
Diabetes people have a high amount of glucose in their blood which can damage blood vessels and nerves over time. During the research, it was hypothesized that a smartphone camera can be used to know the vascular damage due to diabetes by photoplethysmography or PPG, a method that calculates the volume of blood circulating. This technology can be developed and can easily be circulated in smartwatches, fitness trackers, smartphones. The phone’s flashlight and the camera was used by the researchers to calculate PPGs by grabbing the color changes in the fingertip with every heartbeat.
3 million PPG records were obtained from over 50,000 patients in the Health eHeart Study by the UCSF researchers who used the Azumio Instant Heart Rate app on the iPhone, and most of the guesses were identified correctly. It was very effective at identifying the non-diabetic patients too. This data was then used to develop an algorithm to detect diabetes using the smartphones calculated PPG signals.
Testing diabetes in a regular way can take a long time if we consider the time taken for fasting for it. Even in one method, the blood sample is taken after a night fasting and the results may not come on time but that depends on the place you get tested. Well, with the increasing number of diabetes people among us, these low-cost health monitoring tools are very effective to us.