With this lifesaving app, Smartphone users can check their cholesterol levels in about a minute.

Cornell associate professor of mechanical engineering and senior author on a new peer-reviewed study David Erickson and his colleagues have created a Smartphone accessory that optically detects biomarkers in a drop of blood, sweat or saliva. The new application then discerns the results using color analysis

Erickson said, "Smartphones have the potential to address health issues by eliminating the need for specialized equipment."

The cholesterol test strip processes a drop of blood put on a test strip through separation steps and chemical reactions, which is then ready for colorimetric analysis by the Smartphone application.

The smartCARD accessory clamps over the phone’s camera. Its built-in flash provides uniform, diffused light to illuminate the test strip that fits into the smartCARD reader.


The application in the phone calibrates the hue saturation to the image’s color values on the cholesterol test strip, and the results appear on the phone.

The test currently measures total cholesterol and Erickson lab is working to configure those numbers in LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol) and triglyceride measurements.

Erickson added that although smartCARD is ready to be brought to market immediately, he is optimistic that it will have even more advanced capabilities in less than a year.

The peer-reviewed study was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Engineering Research Council of Canada and Cornell’s David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Image: Photo of a smartphone. Photo: Couretsy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitialPhotos.net.