Healthy.io Brings Smartphone Urine Tests to U.S. Homes
The Israel-based startup partnered with the American National Kidney Foundation and Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health System to offer its testing kits to U.S. patients
The American National Kidney Foundation and Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health System have partnered with Israel-based startup Healthy.io to enable smartphone-based urine tests at home. On Monday, the three will launch a clinical trial to test the technology among Geisinger’s patients.
For daily updates, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.Using computer vision algorithms, artificial intelligence, and the smartphone’s own camera, Healthy.io transforms a regular smartphone into a device that performs lab-standard urine analysis. Users receive a urine sample kit and a dipstick that tests ten parameters, including a range of infections, chronic illnesses, and pregnancy-related complications, then scan the strip’s results with their phone. The company’s app provides step-by-step instructions, performs an analysis based on the image and automatically sends the results to the patient's electronic medical record for clinical follow-up.
The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Tel Aviv.
The U.S. pilot trial will focus on testing for chronic kidney disease (CKD), a gradual and chronic loss of kidney function, among patients with high blood pressure. Around 30 million Americans have CKD, but nearly 90% do not know they have the condition, according to the foundation, and hypertension is a contributing risk factor. Other risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history.
"This new trial using a smartphone app and urinalysis kit will provide important information on how to increase testing for CKD in this high-risk population," said Kerry Willis, chief scientific officer at the foundation, in a statement. The foundation hopes that the ability to perform home-based test will make it easier for at-risk patients to comply with regular checkups, she added, and will lead to earlier diagnosis and reduced harm.
"Our mission is to use advanced computer vision and patient-centric design to let clinicians empower their patients at scale without additional cost or effort," said Yonatan Adiri, CEO of Healthy.io, in a statement. "Like a Netflix for adherence, we lean on the spread of digital technology and efficient logistics to offer on-demand testing delivered directly to the home. With a smartphone in your pocket, the point of care becomes wherever you are."