Researchers develop app to detect early-stage pancreatic cancer, using only phone camera

Pancreatic cancer is considered an especially lethal type of cancer, with a mortality rate of 91% in the last 5 years. Early discovery of the cancer is crucial to the treatment, but almost impossible since the symptoms appear only at an advanced stage.

Now, researchers of Washington University have developed an app named BiliScreen, which is able to diagnose the cancer in it’s early stages using a smarthpone camera. After taking a photo of your eye, a series of algorithms measure the concentration of bilirubin in the Sclera (white of the eye). Bilirubin is a chemical that in high concentrations turns the Sclera yellow and indicates diseases like hepatitis and pancreatic cancer. In an early clinical study of 70 people, the BiliScreen correctly identified 90% of the cases.

Testing yourself frequently with the BiliScreen will lead to an early discovery of the cancer, researchers hope, and a reduction of the high mortality rate.

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