VIDEO: Home urine test could help detect disease and make medical processes more efficient

05/20/2016 - 01:20

Shara Tonn

Seeking to relieve the burden on clinics and primary care doctors, researchers created a urinalysis system that uses a black box and smartphone camera to analyze a standard medical dipstick.

There’s a good reason your doctor asks for a urine sample at your annual checkup. A simple, color-changing paper test, dipped into the specimen, can measure levels of glucose, blood, protein and other chemicals, which in turn can indicate evidence of kidney disease, diabetes, urinary tract infections and even signs of bladder cancer.


Ref: Robust dipstick urinalysis using a low-cost, micro-volume slipping manifold and mobile phone platform. Lab Chip (11 May 2016) | DOI: 10.1039/C6LC00340K


We introduce a novel manifold and companion software for dipstick urinalysis that eliminate many of the aspects that are traditionally plagued by user error: precise sample delivery, accurate readout timing, and controlled lighting conditions. The proposed all-acrylic slipping manifold is reusable, reliable, and low in cost. A simple timing mechanism ensures results are read out at the appropriate time. Results are obtained by capturing videos using a mobile phone and by analyzing them using custom-designed software. We show that the results obtained with the proposed device are as accurate and consistent as a properly executed dip-and-wipe method, the industry gold-standard, suggesting the potential for this strategy to enable confident urinalysis testing in home environments.