Healthy.io to develop new method of urinalysis

The health care company Healthy.io is developing a new method of urinalysis to make it smarter, faster and more accessible for those who need it

 Healthy.io's testing kit (photo credit: HEALTHY.IO LTD.)
Healthy.io's testing kit
(photo credit: HEALTHY.IO LTD.)

Ask any pregnant woman, diabetic patient, or person who has undergone dialysis and they’ll tell you about the importance of periodic urine testing. Urinalysis can be used to detect and treat a broad spectrum of conditions such as urinary tract infections, diabetes and kidney failure.

The testing process – which typically involves scheduling an appointment, traveling to a clinic and urinating into a lab specimen cup in a semi-public bathroom – leaves something to be desired.

“In the intersection of computer vision and deep learning algorithms, [nobody has developed] a camera that lets patients test themselves at home for all the kinds of tests that are usually only available in the lab or the hospital – specifically urinalysis testing of all kinds and wound care management tools,” said Ron Zohar, CPO at Healthy.io. His company uses AI and deep learning algorithms, in concert with a clever testing kit and any smartphone camera, to quickly and simply diagnose urine analysis tests – at home.

Healthy.io’s proprietary testing kit is based on a typical urinalysis testing kit, which relies on a dipstick with a pad of chemical reagents on one end that is placed into the collected sample; the pad then interacts with the chemicals present in the urine and changes color.

In a typical testing environment, a professional tester or a machine called a spectrometer then inspects the pad’s new color, comparing it to a key sheet that allows for diagnosis. In the former case, even a professional tester is human, and humans can only be so accurate – not to mention, it’s a little inconvenient to book an advance appointment and drive to the doctor’s office just to have someone check out your urine specimen, and using a spectrometer only eliminates the margin of error.

 Ron Zohar, Chief Product Officer at Healthy.io (credit: HEALTHY.IO LTD.) Ron Zohar, Chief Product Officer at Healthy.io (credit: HEALTHY.IO LTD.)

“We enable all of that to be conducted from the comfort of their home through their smartphone camera and a dedicated kit that we provide,” said Zohar. “So in essence, we’re turning the smartphone camera into a clinical-grade medical device,” and making it readily accessible to more people than ever.

“That’s our mission. That’s why we get out of bed in the morning,” said Zohar. “We have a strong belief that wherever there is a smartphone and bandwidth, we can deliver clinical value. And we can deliver that clinical value to those people that need it at a specific time, particularly for the management of kidney function and chronic kidney disease.

“We’ve seen a dramatic change where we’re deploying our services to these populations that are now screening – they’re now funneled into care, they’re now funneled into the next medical processes. By deploying our services, we believe that patients who need to do these tests will now do it more. And we’re proud of the task force that is improving kidney health throughout the world.”

Earlier this month, Healthy.io became a strategic partner at Dubai Royal Family company Seed Group. This partnership will allow Healthy.io to bring its products to the UAE. “If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored, it is the fact that healthcare needs to be taken seriously,” said Hisham Al Gurg, CEO of Seed Group. “The sector needs to find the best possible techniques with the help of technology to not only offer timely treatments but also work towards the long-term goal of creating a healthy and happy world. Companies like Healthy.io are the very ones making this possible.”