The app uses a smartphone camera and machine learning to detect changes in the white colour of a person’s eye.
The app named ‘’Biliscreen’ which takes selfies of the eyes is used in conjunction with a 3-D printed box that controls the eye’s exposure to light — correctly identified cases of concern 89.7 percent of the time, compared to the blood test currently used.
“The problem with pancreatic cancer is that by the time you’re symptomatic, it’s frequently too late,” said lead author Alex Mariakakis, a doctoral student at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “The hope is that if people can do this simple test once a month — in the privacy of their own homes — some might catch the disease early enough to undergo treatment that could save their lives.”
BiliScreen has the potential to be an important tool in the detection and management of diseases related to Jaundice.
The app was developed from an already existing version that screened newborn babies for jaundice but now uses a smartphone camera and machine learning to detect changes in the colour of a person’s sclera (white part of the eye).
BiliScreen is a non-invasive alternative to blood draws for measuring bilirubin levels in the blood stream. Excess bilirubin can be an indicator of a variety of health conditions – including pancreatic cancer, a disease that often goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage, when jaundice is visible to the naked eye.