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Tanzania: Smartphones ready to combat anemia
Community health workers will detect anemia using smartphone cameras.
By Phanith Sovann
WV Tanzania will trial a cutting-edge way of detecting anemia by using smartphones.
Anemia develops when human blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen through the
body. It causes 700,000 maternal and child deaths annually.
But new technology turns a smartphone into an inexpensive blood analysis tool that screens for anemia.
Special software allows the phone’s camera to be used as a sensor to detect the disease.
It’s hoped a successful trial will ultimately lead to the successful treatment of the 60 per cent of children
under 5 who develop and live with anemia in Tanzania each year.
Students at Johns Hopkins University developed the HemoGlobe technology in 2012, but the proposed
pilot in Tanzania is the first time it will be utilised by community health workers conducting household
visits.
The anemia smartphone trial is one of three 2015 Innovation Fund grant winners sponsored by WV US.
Cory Trenda, innovation fund team leader – WV US, said community health workers are ideally placed to
monitor compliance to anemia treatment and run additional tests to measure improvement.
The other two grant winners this year were an early childhood development programme in Haiti and a
programme to track and protect child returnees in El Salvador.

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anemia smartphone final

  • 1. Tanzania: Smartphones ready to combat anemia Community health workers will detect anemia using smartphone cameras. By Phanith Sovann WV Tanzania will trial a cutting-edge way of detecting anemia by using smartphones. Anemia develops when human blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body. It causes 700,000 maternal and child deaths annually. But new technology turns a smartphone into an inexpensive blood analysis tool that screens for anemia. Special software allows the phone’s camera to be used as a sensor to detect the disease. It’s hoped a successful trial will ultimately lead to the successful treatment of the 60 per cent of children under 5 who develop and live with anemia in Tanzania each year. Students at Johns Hopkins University developed the HemoGlobe technology in 2012, but the proposed pilot in Tanzania is the first time it will be utilised by community health workers conducting household visits. The anemia smartphone trial is one of three 2015 Innovation Fund grant winners sponsored by WV US. Cory Trenda, innovation fund team leader – WV US, said community health workers are ideally placed to monitor compliance to anemia treatment and run additional tests to measure improvement. The other two grant winners this year were an early childhood development programme in Haiti and a programme to track and protect child returnees in El Salvador.