Smartphone accessory that can measure your cholesterol

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After you are done piling up those Christmas dinner plates with mac and cheese, desserts and other foods that will send your cholesterol levels over the top, check out the new smartphone accessory that can measure your cholesterol.

Researchers at Cornell University in New York led by David Erickson, a professor of mechanical engineering, are currently developing an app and accessory called SmartCARD, short for Smartphone Cholesterol Application for Rapid Diagnostics, that can measure your cholesterol.


How does it work?

The SmartCARD system clamps onto the smartphone’s camera and just like a standard cholesterol detector, the person pricks his or her finger and dabs a drop of blood onto a test strip. The strip is then put into a holding slot on the system, and the smartphone snaps a photo of the blood sample for analysis.


As always with anything scientific, there is one doctor who won’t agree or in this case, who doesn’t recommend the smartphone testing, Sri Krishna Madan Mohan, a cardiologist at the University Hospital Case Medical Center in Ohio, said that while he’s an app-happy guy but he doesn’t see much value in SmartCARD.

“Unlike something like sugar levels or blood thickness, cholesterol isn’t something that fluctuates from minute to minute, or even from month to month. If I start treating you, I’d recheck your cholesterol in three months to see if the treatment had any effect. One of the other problems is that the accessory does not distinguish between HDL and LDL, or good and bad cholesterol. If I have a cholesterol level of 200, it could be 180 good and 20 bad, or 180 bad and 20 good, It’s important to measure the levels of each type of cholesterol.”

Erickson’s research is published in the most recent issue of the journal Lab on a Chip and can be found on their website.

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