The startup Colorimetrix has developed an app that reads colorimetric tests by only using smartphones. After testing urine, saliva or other bodily fluid, the user simply take a picture of the test, and the app use algorithms to convert the colorimetric tests into a numerical concentration within seconds. The results can then be stored, sent to a healthcare professional, or directly give a diagnosis on the phone.
The app is comparable in accuracy to commercial readers, and a study published in the journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical found that it accurately reported glucose, protein and pH concentrations from commercially available urine test strips without requiring any external hardware. It is available for both Android and iOS and can be used at home, clinical and resource-limited settings.
An accurate diagnosis can be hindered by inadequate infrastructure and shortages in skilled healthcare workers, especially in low resource settings. Colorimetric tests are playing an important role in increasing access to healthcare, and Colorimetrix could revolutionize current limitations and reduce the burden of disease. For example, by enabling the transmission of medical data to health professionals in real time, it could help slow or limit the spread of pandemics, making the app a powerful public health tool. In addition, it give more patients the opportunity to monitor their chronic disease at home, reducing the need for expensive laboratory equipment, saving money to clinics and research institutions.
Colorimetric tests are also widely used in other fields, highlighting the huge applicability and potential of the app. It can be used in veterinary diagnostics, in food and agriculture, industrial testing and safety, and as an environmental screening tool. The startup has been approached by many organizations interested in applying the technology, and Colorimetrix is set for a bright future.
The developer of the app, Juan Leonardo Martinez, was in 2014 recognized as Innovators Under 35 by MIT Technology Review, who each year discover young leaders developing new technologies to solve the major global challenges. The startup has also been part of Google Developers Launchpad in Munich, a boot camp for early stage startups focusing on critical startup topics, including product strategy and business development.