'BiliScreen' App Could Help Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer with a Selfie

Pancreatic cancer has one of the worst survival rates amongst all forms of cancer because its symptoms only manifest later. One symptom is jaundice, the yellow discoloration of the skin and sclera due to the buildup of bilirubin in the blood, which is only recognizable to the naked eye in severe stages. University of Washington researchers have developed a smartphone app called 'BiliScreen' that accurately measures jaundice in adults using a selfie and an accessory. It's a non-invasive alternative to drawing blood for measuring bilirubin levels. The app captures pictures of the eye and produces an estimate of a person's bilirubin level, even at levels undetectable by the human eye. The researchers tested two low-cost accessories that reduce the effects of external lighting - a 3D-printed box that controls the eyes' exposure to light, and paper glasses with colored squares for calibration. As a screening tool, they found that BiliScreen identifies cases of concern with a sensitivity of 89.7% and a specificity of 96.8% with the box accessory.