Like to use your iPhone on the toilet? Myshkin Ingawale has an app for that.
Ingawale is the co-founder of Biosense, a med-tech company based in Mumbai that specializes in cheap and functional medical technologies. Last year’s product was a portable and needleless anemia screener called ToucHb. At TED in Los Angeles today he unveiled the charmingly named UChek, a urinalysis app for the masses.
In the old days, urinalysis was a bit tougher. A sample of urine is taken in cup and a chemical strip is dipped into said urine sample. The strip is then compared to a color-coded map, which can be used to determine levels of glucose, bilirubin, protein, and other abnormalities in your urine. High levels of glucose, for example, could indicate diabetes.
Although chemical strips can be deciphered by sight, there are many urine-scanning machines that produce more accurate results. The problem is that they can cost up to $10,000, with limited compatibility with different types of chemical strips.
Ignawale’s UChek is an app that seeks to simplify the process in an affordable way. Once the chemical strip is dipped in urine, a picture is taken of the strip with a smartphone. The app then quickly analyzes the strip and produces accurate and easy-to-understand results.
While the app is currently going through testing phases in a Mumbai hospital, it is awaiting approval in Apple’s App Store.
The app itself will cost $99, while an extra $20 will nab you a packet of chemical strips and a color-coded map for testing. An Android app is expected, although Ingawale says it will take a little bit longer before it’s released.
“We all have two things, cell phones and urine,” Ingawale told his TED audience. “We figured we had to be able to do something with this.”
He certainly isn’t the first person to have noticed. An iPhone app called Piddle was developed by Danish programmers last year in May for Health Hack Day in Stockholm, where it took first prize. Perhaps this will be the beginning of a boom in mobile urinalysis apps, as strange as that sounds?