New App Can Detect Early Signs Of Pancreatic Cancer

Now more than ever, technological revelations are groundbreaking in every field imaginable.

Gone are the days of mobile phones being used for solely the purpose in which they were initially intended, and while Luddites may swear off gadgets indefinitely, one cannot deny how comfortable progression has made our lives.


Offering more than the occasional camera tweak and speaker enhancement, professionals have been working conscientiously to assure our future chargeable sidekicks will offer more than the mainstream “must.”

These days, most novel and sought after inventions are fundamentally based in the medical field. Every scientist seeking recognition attempt to find a cure for a reoccurring disease – the rarer, the better.


That is why news of the “BiliScreen” app made headlines this past month – researchers from the University of Washington have created a smartphone app that is meant to detect early stages of pancreatic cancer.

By snapping a single selfie, users of the app could potentially learn if they have increased bilirubin levels, which is a yellow-reddish pigment that can found in a person’s sclera (the white part of the eye).

The discoloration is caused by the breakdown of red blood cells. Therefore, the phone camera, combined with the “BiliScreen” app, could detect a color change whenever people take a selfie, possibly pointing towards pancreatic cancer.


“The eyes are a really interesting gateway into the body — tears can tell you how much glucose you have, sclera can tell you how much bilirubin is in your blood,” said Computer Science and Engineering professor Shwetak Patel, who is also the senior author of the study.

Indeed, the “BiliScreen” camera cannot replace a blood test, but it can suggest something is off and motivate the person with enough awareness to download the app and examine their eyes to carry out more substantial tests taken by a certified doctor.