A new smartphone app which allows kidney transplant patients to monitor their risk of infection after surgery from the comfort of their own home is now being trialled in Salford.
Using artificial intelligence, the app transforms a patient’s phone into a clinical-grade scanner to test for urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Digital Health News first reported about the app in June 2018 and now 22 Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust patients, who are particularly prone to UTIs, are now trialling the Dip.io home-testing kits.
The trial was developed by the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) Trust’s kidney transplant and future digital teams in partnership with Healthy.io.
Previously a patient would visit their GP at the first sign of infection, where they would give urine samples and wait up to three days for results and to start medication.
The app allows them to take a simple dipstick test in their own home, using their smartphone camera to capture their readings and provide a diagnosis straight away.
The results are then transmitted to the kidney transplant team who can prescribe antibiotics if needed.
In some cases it could prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.
Dr Rachel Middleton, consultant nephrologist, said: “With a weakened immune system following transplant, our patients are particularly prone to UTIs.
“Early detection plays an important role in reducing the severity of the infection and the risk of contracting life-threatening conditions, such as sepsis and acute kidney injury.
“The technology we are testing turns an everyday smartphone into a diagnostic device, transforming the way urine tests are performed.
“It has taken a tried and tested medical tool – the dipstick – and taken it into the 21st century to analyse a range of different infections.”
The kit comes with disposable testing cups and test strips, which has a panel of patterns and colours that guides a smartphone camera to read the strip accurately.