Smartphone app detecting kidney disease rolled out in Tower Hamlets

Smartphone kidney app rolled out in Tower Hamlets. Pic: Shutterstock

 An app designed to make home urine tests for kidney diseases and diabetes easier and spotting signs of illness earlier is being tested under a feasibility study in Tower Hamlets. 

London South Bank University,  in partnership with Tower Hamlets’ Clinical Group (CCG), are rolling out the application in the borough first before launching it. 

The test itself can detect abnormal protein levels in the urine, which can be used to identify those at risk of worsening kidney problems, and involves a dipstick which changes colour in urine to show whether levels of protein are abnormal before users take a photo of the dipstick in the app, which is used to analyse their condition.

The viability of the application is currently being evaluated by experts at London South Bank University’s (LSBU) School of Health and Social Care.

Professor Nicola Thomas, head of LSBU’s research team and professor of kidney care, said: “We have taken the initial step of rolling out the phone app in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, where 40 per cent of residents are of South Asian heritage and who are more at risk of both diabetes and kidney disease.

“If this study proves feasible in Tower Hamlets, we will review the results together with the local Clinical Commissioning Group with a view to rolling it out across other UK boroughs.”

The app has also been made accessible to more individuals, by using visual and audio instructions to direct patients through the test. 

Dr Osman Bhatti, community health services and continuing care lead for the Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, said:  “I am delighted that East London GP practices are working with LSBU on this innovative project which will save time, improve patient experience and most importantly, identify people who are at risk of progressive kidney disease.”

It is thought that if successful, this app will have a major impact on cost saving for the NHS and help people avoid dialysis or transplant. 

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