Your phone slash a portable medical lab: uChek

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People avoid routine check-ups for various reasons, may it be being afraid of the diagnosis, being busy or even finding it a hassle to go to the hospital’s laboratory for certain tests to be performed. But what would you say, if something as convenient as your phone can now assess your blood sugar? OR even urine?

Introducing the uChek

The uChek portable diagnostic kit is a smartphone-based mobile lab. By mobile lab, it means it can run tests such as urine analysis and blood sugar tests. The database and technology for the system is constantly growing.

This new invention to watch out for utilizes a smartphone camera to determine the change in color as well as the change in concentration on test strips included in the kit. It connects to the cloud and has its own analytics services.

It measures 14 health parameters using routine urine analysis, provides day-to-day analytics, and, importantly, permits regular monitoring for early warning markers for more than 25 medical conditions, such as complications of diabetes, pregnancy, kidney disease, urinary tract infections, cancers, liver problems as well as being used to keep track of general health. It also allows timely, pertinent and educated consultations with your doctor, and taking remedial action before time.

How to use it

You can use this through downloading uCheck app in your iphone or iPad. After a “mid-stream collection,” a urine test strip, also known as a dipstick, is dipped into the sample. After a few minutes colors appear to reflect the presence of certain compounds. You then take a photo of the test strip with the your mobile’s camera and the app then compares the colors and allows you to email the results, store them or even chart them over time.

According to the FDA, “using an app like uChek to read an already-FDA-approved urine analysis strip changes the components into a test system, subject to their approval. It’s not what you’re reading, but how, according to the FDA. Since your app allows a mobile phone to analyze the dipsticks, the phone and device as a whole functions as an automated strip reader.”

Also, the urine analysis “device” of phone, app, and dipstick need to be cleared by the FDA since there are thousands of apps in the medical category in the applications store. While some have already shown positive results, such as the colon cleanse-preparation app, FDA approval can take years.

The fastest pathway to FDA approval is finding such a “predicate device” and relating the new one to it, sparing the manufacturer the time and money mandatory for clinical trials.

Sources:

Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

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