- A new app can detect signs of pancreatic cancer through a selfie
- The app ‘BiliScreen’ was developed by researchers from the University of Washington
- Users can take a selfie and the app detects the build up of bilirubin based on the yellowing of the eyes
Admit it or not, mobile apps have dominated our modern lives. Each activity – be it photography, studying or interacting with friends – has probably one or more apps for it.
There’s an app for everything that recently a smartphone app was developed to diagnose pancreatic cancer.
Researchers from the University of Washington created the app called “BiliScreen”, which monitors signs of jaundice that is a symptom of pancreatic cancer.
How does the app work?
A user can take a selfie and the app scans the eyes for yellow marks. The yellowing signifies the presence of bilirubin in the blood.
“Bilirubin is a waste product created from the break down of haemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body. It is normally cleared by the liver,” The Independent explained in a feature posted on its website.
There is no effective screening tool for pancreatic cancer prior to the development of the BiliScreen. This is alarming since victims of this disease have very low survival rate.
“Pancreatic cancer, sadly, has a very low 5-year survival rate and that’s because the symptoms of pancreatic cancer often get detected too late and options for treatment are very limited,” GMA News Online quoted Alex Mariakakis who was one of the researchers.
“By the time jaundice appears in the eyes of pancreatic cancer victims the disease is already well-established. The research team hopes that Biliscreen will be able to detect abnormal bilirubin levels before they are visible to the naked eye,” he added.