Siemens Healthineers, the medical arm of the German engineering and technology conglomerate, has teamed up with Israeli start-up Healthy.io to allow patients to test their urine at home by using a smartphone camera that scans a dipstick.
The deal, first reported by Reuters, comes as Healthy.io’s founder and CEO Yonatan Adiri – who describes the technology as a “medical selfie” – was selected this week as one of the 50 most influential people in healthcare by TIME magazine.
Adiri said: “Healthy.io is a pioneer in using computer vision and machine learning to transform the smartphone camera into a clinical grade medical device for improved patient access and convenience.”
The alliance, no terms of which were disclosed, will help patients improve their compliance with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) monitoring, the two businesses said.
“Undetected CKD can lead to kidney failure, and also increase a patient’s risk of premature death from associated cardiovascular diseases.”
EXCITING NEWS! Our founder and CEO Yonatan Adiri was selected as one of the 50 most influential people in healthcare by TIME! Yonatan, we cannot be more proud. Congratulations from all of us at https://t.co/psHBsHnK3q 🙂 https://t.co/afWRle6XZD
— Healthy.io (@Healthyio1) October 22, 2018
Smartphone Urine Test Comes as Mobile Substance Testing on the Rise
Companies are increasingly seeking to combine AI trained on so-called optical signatures, with image-processing techniques run on smartphones, as processing and and camera capabilities both improve at a rapid pace.
This is being used for a wide range of purposes, including mobile testing of everything from wine to diamonds, via chemical levels in soil and water.
An IBM research team in Brazil, for example, recently built a prototype for chemical analysis of water and soil using a small paper testing strip dubbed the “AgroPad” that taps a smartphone’s visual recognition capabilities and machine learning algorithms to determine the exact amount of certain chemicals in the sample.
It can currently assess pH, nitrogen dioxide, aluminum, magnesium and chlorine levels.
Under the global partnership announced on Tuesday, Healthy.io will use urinalysis tests from Siemens Healthineers in dipkits that are sent to patients at home.