Smartphone app and home urine test could help early detection of kidney disease

16 October 2020, 00:04

Smartphone accident study
Smartphone accident study. Picture: PA

Researchers at London South Bank University are evaluating the app and accompanying home test kit.

A smartphone app designed to make home urine tests for kidney disease and diabetes easier and spot signs of illness earlier is being evaluated by a London university.

The kit, developed by tech firm healthy.io, uses an app to guide users through taking a home urine test before quickly sharing the results with the patient’s GP.

The test itself can detect abnormal protein levels in the urine, which can be used to identify those at risk of worsening kidney problems, and involves a dipstick which changes colour in the urine to show whether levels of protein are abnormal before users take a photo of the dipstick in the app, which is used to analyse their condition.

The viability of the system is currently being evaluated by experts at London South Bank University’s (LSBU) School of Health and Social Care.

A feasibility study is being conducted in partnership with Tower Hamlets’ Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in East London.

Professor Nicola Thomas, head of LSBU’s research team and professor of kidney care, said: “Around 30 per cent of people with diabetes have some degree of kidney damage.

“A national audit previously showed that the urine testing rate for those with diabetes in the UK is only 68 per cent but with a large variation. These detection rates are relatively low and in need of improvement.

“We have taken the initial step of rolling out the phone app in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, where 40% of residents are of South Asian heritage and who are more at risk of both diabetes and kidney disease.

“If this study proves feasible in Tower Hamlets, we will review the results together with the local Clinical Commissioning Group with a view to rolling it out across other UK boroughs.”

The smartphone app uses audio instructions to walk patients through how to take the test as part of efforts to make the process more accessible.

Dr Osman Bhatti, community health services and continuing care lead for the Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I am delighted that East London GP practices are working with LSBU on this innovative project which will save time, improve patient experience and most importantly, identify people who are at risk of progressive kidney disease.”

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

The former president launched his app to compete with tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter.

Donald Trump launches 'Truth' social media platform after exile from Twitter and Facebook

It is the second outage in a week

Facebook, Instagram and Messenger down for second time in a week

The source code of Twitch was posted online

Twitch data breach: What you need to know

Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp went down in a major outage

WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram back online after suffering six-hour outage

Queen's Baton Relay baton

‘Smart’ baton using cutting-edge technology unveiled for Queen’s Baton Relay

YouTube displayed on a laptop computer

YouTube to remove misinformation videos about all vaccines

Amazon's Astro robot

Amazon introduces home robot alongside new Echo devices

A person using a laptop

Pandemic sparks demand for greater use of tech in public safety – report

An Instagram page

Instagram for children plans ‘paused’, company says

Brexit

Labour proposes ‘legal duty of care’ on social media firms to stop scams

Stuart and Amanda Stephens

Family of tragic 13-year-old Olly urge parents to take phones off teenagers

Customers enter Apple shop

Queues return to Apple Stores as the iPhone 13 goes on sale

Online fraud

New laws needed to protect people from online scams, Which? warns

Laptop

Ofcom ‘needs powers to audit tech firms to prevent online harms’

A computer user

Government told to confront tech giants about videos that trigger epileptic fits

Scientist with petri dish

Scientists use AI to help discover new treatment for deadly childhood cancer