The idea of medical or healthcare apps is not a new one. Yet, there are not many that appear to have as much real-life validity and worth than the BiliCam app. The app provides a way for parents to assess the scale of their newborn baby’s jaundice when they have left the hospital. Jaundice is common in newborn babies and usually does not need treatment. However, serious cases must be identified and treated as it can lead to brain damage.
So why is this app so good? There are two things you can be sure of when parents take a newborn baby home for this first time: 1. They will be very anxious about the baby’s health. And, possibly concerned they weren’t ready to leave the hospital quite yet. 2. Not far from the baby will be a smart phone, ready to take pictures, which they can bombard their friends Facebook pages and What’s App conversations with.
The BiliCam App uses point 2 to help alleviate the worry of point 1. Using the smart phones camera, the app takes a picture of the baby to determine the extent of jaundice. A small, coloured card is placed on the baby while the photo is taken to calibrate the app to ensure accurate results. If the baby requires further tests or treatment the parent will be warned to seek medical advice.
The name BiliCam comes from the substance bilirubin. Jaundice is caused by an increased amount of bilirubin inside the body. It should be excreted but newborn babies in particular are not always efficient at doing this. The increased levels of Bilirubin cause the characteristic yellow colour of the skin and pigmentation of the eyes.
Only time will tell how successfully the BiliCam App will prove to be!