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New technology lets smartphone selfies read your cholesterol

New technology lets smartphone selfies read your cholesterol

1/30/2014

The ways in which smartphones can benefit the health of their users have now become well-known. With the array of fitness apps now available, it's easy to track your progress toward weight loss and exercise goals from the convenience of your mobile device.

The mobile trend's relevance to the medical field doesn't end there, however. With the rise of electronic health records, the sight of doctors and nurses roaming the corridors of their clinics with smartphones and tablets in hand has become relatively common. 

A recent breakthrough may soon make it easier for patients to join the medical professionals who care for them in taking advantage of the clinical uses of mobile devices. Researchers from Cornell University announced that they had developed a cholesterol-testing technology that works in conjunction with users' smartphones

The Smartphone Cholesterol Application for Rapid Diagnostics - smartCARD, for short - can read users' cholesterol levels optically, so seeing how your lipids are doing is as easy as snapping a selfie. The highly developed cameras involved in the technology zero in on biomarkers that are contained in bodily fluids like saliva and sweat. As such, just after a workout is a great time to use the smartCARD.

Part of the researchers' motivation was the sheer popularity of mobile devices, which makes them a particularly convenient medical tool.

"By 2016, there will be an estimated 260 million smartphones in use in the United States. Smartphones are ubiquitous," noted David Erickson, one of the study's lead authors and a professor of mechanical engineering at Cornell.

"Mobile health is increasing at an incredible rate," Erickson went on to say. "It's the next big thing."

The rise of the all-in-one device
One of the most exciting trends signaled by the new technology is that mobile devices are quickly becoming capable of performing many of the activities that previously required consumers to use and invest in a large number of different devices.

"Smartphones have the potential to address health issues by eliminating the need for specialized equipment," Erickson remarked.

The benefits implicit in Erickson's statement are considerable. The more powerful smartphones become, the more they can streamline users' lives. And in the age of electronic health records, you may soon be able to access your most important medical data directly on your mobile device.

While your smartphone is busy protecting your health, consider returning the favor with one of ProtectCELL's smartphone protection plans. Phone buyback and data backup mean that if your device becomes lost or damaged, you won't be set back in your health-monitoring routines for very long.

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