A New Selfie App Could Help Detect Pancreatic Cancer Early

A New Selfie App Could Help Detect Pancreatic Cancer EarlyImage used is for illustration purpose only

Researchers have developed an app that could allow people to easily screen for pancreatic cancer and other diseases through selfie.

The University of Washington has developed BiliScreen, an app that analyses your eyes through selfie to check for early signs of pancreatic cancer.

One of the earliest symptoms of pancreatic cancer and other diseases is jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes caused by an increase in bilirubin in the blood.

BiliScreen uses a smartphone camera, computer vision algorithms and machine learning tools to detect increased bilirubin levels in a person’s sclera, or the white part of the eye.

In the clinical study, this app was used for detection of the disease in people and proved to accurate in identifying cases of concern 89.7% times in the 70 people included in the study.

This was far better than the regular blood test done by doctors because that shows increased bilirubin levels when the situation is about to go out of hand.

“The eyes are a really interesting gateway into the body, tears can tell you how much glucose you have, sclera can tell you how much bilirubin is in your blood,” said Shwetak Patel, the senior author of this study and professor in computer science and engineering.

“Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease with no effective screening right now. Our goal is to have more people who are unfortunate enough to get pancreatic cancer to be fortunate enough to catch it in time to have surgery that gives them a better chance of survival.” said study co- author Dr. Jim Taylor.

The app has been developed in a way so it is easy to use and a non-invasive tool which can help people get an early treatment when needed.

The new app is described in a paper to be presented Sept. 13 at Ubicomp 2017, the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing.

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