Physicians commonly assess the surfaces of the conjunctiva to provide a qualitative estimate of hemoglobin and whether a patient may be anemic. This approach is frequently inaccurate (Hung, et al., 2000) and can be improved through a modest technological innovation utilizing digital photography (Suner, et al., 2007 ).
This approach appeared very promising resulting in further work using the principle of reflectance spectrophotometry. An algorithm has been constructed which analyzes the spectra of reflected light off of the tarsal plate. Precise estimates of hemoglobin were obtained (McMurdy, et al., 2006). This novel approach in aiding the physician's naked eye in anemia detection, and the creation of a monolithic spectrometer (Woltman, et al., 2007) to automate this process is being actively investigated. This innovation promises to provide CBC quality measurement of total hemoglobin in physician offices and austere medical environments which do not have direct access to laboratory equipment.
This promises to reduce the cost of this assay and also creates a translational business opportunity. Intellectual property covering this technology has been licensed to a biomedical startup Corum Medical Incorporated.
Non-invasive Device to Measure Hemoglobin Levels: Improving the Quality of Life of Persons with Life Altering Diseases. Culpepper Foundation. Jay, GD. Co-Principal Investigator with G. Crawford. $25,000 awarded 10/1/04 - 9/30/06.
GlobaMED Devices: Global Anemia Detection & Treatment. NCIIA Advanced E-Team Grant #3289-06. Jay, GD. Co- Investigator and Mentor. John McCurdy (recipient). $20,000.