Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease which when not detected and treated early leads to death. The disease has a survival rate of about 9% after five years and has one of the worst survival rates amongst all forms of cancer. Fortunately, researchers at the University of Washington have developed an app which could prove to be a game changer in the field of health. BiliScreen is an app that analyzes the whites of your eyes with the aim of detecting pancreatic cancer at its early stages. Additionally, it also can be used to detect jaundice.
The technology behind the app uses computer vision algorithms and machine learning to estimate a person’s bilirubin level in the white part of the eye before it is visible to humans. The number of people who have access to smartphones is on the rise each year. I choose this app since it has the potential to save numerous lives by detecting cancer in its early stages and it is easy to use; by just taking a selfie, the app is able to produce an estimate of a person’s bilirubin level which in turn is used to determine if a person is suffering from pancreatic cancer. Moreover, the app will create worldwide awareness of the benefits of early cancer screening and anyone with a smart phone will be able to access it. The biliscreen app uses the inbuilt camera of a smartphone to snap photos of the eye and a machine learning algorithm performs the diagnosis. G1 Aside from diagnosing pancreatic cancer, the Biliscreen app can be used to monitor bilirubin levels of patients with the ailment. G2 G3 G4
As at the year 2017, apps from retail businesses had taken up to 27 percent of consumer’s time, which sheds light on how significant a mobile app can be to reaching your customers whenever they are active online. As one grows old, the odds of getting pancreatic cancer increases.G5 G6 Biliscreen app targets adults over the age of 45 years since they are the ones more at risk of getting pancreatic cancer. Additionally, cigarette smokers have a high risk of getting pancreatic cancer.G7 G8
Alterations can be made to the Biliscreen app to make it more effective in detecting pancreatic cancer. Currently, the app user is required to use a special box to block out light from other sources. This can be improved on by designing special eyeglasses that control lighting conditions and aid in the calibration of coloursG9 . It is highly unlikely that an app can perform accurate medical diagnosis based on the inbuilt camera of the smartphone and machine-based algorithm.G10 Connecting the app to medical institutions where findings from it are sent to the hospital for further scrutiny will enable the proper diagnosis to be made.G11 While visiting a doctor is an important option for sound medical information, people may substitute it with the app for medical information. This is not advisable since the app is in no way a doctorG12
The Biliscreen app is one indication of technological milestones being achieved throughout the world. Blood tests can only be carried out by a healthcare expert when patients are already showing symptoms of pancreatic cancer. This is not the case with the Biliscreen app which can correctly detect pancreatic cancer in time thereby increasing the chance of survival.
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