Smartphone app to help assess anemia by taking a picture of a person’s eyelid

05/24/2020 |

A doctor can quickly get an idea of whether someone is anemic by pulling down the person’s eyelid and judging its redness, a color indicating the number of red blood cells.

But even a doctor’s eye isn’t precise enough to give a diagnosis without getting a blood sample from the patient.

Purdue University engineers have developed software that would enable medical staff to take a picture of a patient’s inner eyelid with a smartphone and instantly receive a near-accurate count of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells.

The team is working on embedding the software into a mobile app, which is in development. A video describing the technology is available on YouTube.

“This technology won’t replace a conventional blood test, but it gives a comparable hemoglobin count right away and is noninvasive and real-time,” said Young Kim, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue.

Writer: Kayla Wiles,