The iPhone Can Now Be Used To Diagnose Thyroid Disease

Hypothyroidism is a condition characterised by symptoms of sluggishness, depression, feeling cold, tired, constipation, muscle cramps and weight gain. This occurs when the thyroid gland produces insufficient quantities of thyroid hormone in the body. As a result, TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is produced in larger quantities leading to its increased blood levels, which is why detecting the slightest increase in blood TSH levels is important in diagnosing the disease.

While screening of hypothyroidism relies on detection of raised TSH levels in blood, the acceptability of tests performed for this is limited by their inability to detect low TSH values. However, using an iPhone and specially-designed app can now diagnose hypothyroidism by detecting whole-blood TSH concentrations as low as 0.1 mIU/L (via BioScholar).

A team researchers led by Randy Polson, PhD, from the University of Utah has developed a device that uses an iPhone’s LED flash, digital camera with collimating lens to optimize illumination and focusing, and a specially-designed app to collect an image of a completed TSH assays and, and convert the image into a quantitative TSH values.

Using a light pipe and, they showed that an Apple iPhone was able to detect whole-blood TSH concentrations as low as 0.1 mIU/L.

The findings were presented at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

Amazing isn’t it?

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