An app from the University of Washington can help users screen for pancreatic cancer and other diseases by measuring bilirubin levels through a selfie

Researchers from the University of Washington have developed an app that can help people screen for pancreatic cancer (which has a low survival rate in part because of the lack of early screening tools) and other diseases by simply taking a selfie. BiliScreen uses a smartphone camera, computer vision algorithms and machine learning to detect when a user has increased bilirubin levels.

Buildup of bilirubin leads to jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes and skin), one of the earliest symptoms of pancreatic cancer and other diseases. The ability to detect an elevated bilirubin level before it becomes visible could help at-risk individuals seek treatment earlier. In early clinical study of 70 patients, the BiliScreen app correctly identified cases of concern 89.7% of time (compared to standard blood tests).

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