Academia meets Anaemia!

As per the research conducted on health care spending in India, it has been found that around 4.1% of the population (50 million) is in a state of hidden poverty due to medical expenses. Apart from the issue of poverty, India is also facing a massive burden of anaemia. According to the 2018 Global Nutrition report, 50% of the pregnant woman and almost 52% of women, though in reproductive age but not pregnant were anaemic. If you connect the dots, you will realize poverty has some role to play in the spread of anaemia.

To tackle the issue of poverty and anaemia, researchers at IIT Kharagpur have devised a one-rupee test to measure the haemoglobin levels. This device can measure the haemoglobin levels using a small quantity of blood and a smartphone. It is a portable and low-cost device.

Source: The Wire

How does the device work:

Haemoglobin reacts with hydrogen peroxide to produce oxygen. This is what the device does. It triggers the reaction of haemoglobin with hydrogen peroxide to produce oxygen. This oxygen is made to react with o-toluidine, thereby creating a bluish-green substance. The property of this substance is it absorbs the light proportionally to its amount – so the more there is, the darker it will appear. Haemoglobin in the blood can be estimated by using this indicator.

Also, the device can interpret the data from the bluish-green substance using an app that can be installed on the smartphone. It removes the dependency of larger and expensive light-measuring devices. Each blood test conducted via this approach costs Rs.1. Apart from the low price; it also needs just a small drop of blood for each test.

Image Source: Mint

The USP of the device is that it is affordable to the masses. The device has been tested at various places, and the results are amazing. They have checked the equipment at the in-house hospital in IIT-Kharagpur. Patients of Salboni Superspeciality Hospital in West Midnapore district of West Bengal used this test. Also, the team collaborated with the Foundation for Innovations in Health (FIH), a non-profit organization in Kolkatta.

Future Outlook

The team is working with the enterprises to market the device among the patients. Also, they are trying to improve the stability of the chemicals in the reaction so that they can be used outside laboratory conditions. The team also aspires to reduce the timing of each reading of haemoglobin.

Our best wishes with the team of IIT-Kharagpur for introducing the new features and innovating a great device to help humanity. What are your views on this device? We would love to hear your opinion on Bots ‘N Brains!


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