Healthie Selfies

Cornell researchers are perfecting a smartphone app and attachment that reads cholesterol and vitamin D levels.

Need to know your vitamin D level right this very minute? There’s an app for that. Researchers have created a smartphone app and snap-on gizmo for your device that lets you take a selfie of your cholesterol and vitamin D levels.

Techno-savvy eggheads at Cornell University designed an app and a Smart Cholesterol Application for Rapid Diagnostics, or smartCARD, that can give you a reading on your levels with a single drop of blood, saliva or sweat. The invention was mentioned on medical daily.com and InsideScience.org.

“In two minutes it spits out…what your cholesterol level is today, right now," David Erickson, a biomedical engineer at Cornell who worked on the project, told InsideScience.org. The smartCARD won’t be ready for the market for a few years. (Today you can use your smartphone to get immediate info from QR codes on vitamin supplements, however.)


The device is simpler than at-home testing kits now available on the market. Clip the gizmo, which looks like a credit card reader, onto your phone. Drop a sample of blood, sweat or spit (tears don’t work) on a test strip. Take a picture of it. The device processes the image of the blood reacting to the test strip. Within moments, it will determine your cholesterol and vitamin D levels from that image. It’s today’s version of taking a Polaroid of your blood. Then, of course, you can share it on Facebook.

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