How mobile health can save a baby’s life

Every year more than 100,000 newborns die and 60,000 suffer lifelong disabilities from newborn jaundice. In Asia, it is one of the top ten causes of disability in newborns. Jaundice is also a leading cause of hospital readmission after birth in high-income economies. When detected early, treatment for jaundice is easily treated with phototherapy. However, current newborn screening options for jaundice are either unreliable, expensive, or invasive. As a result, newborns risk being treated too late or may undergo unnecessary invasive, laborious and costly procedures.

To address these challenges and ensure a better start for all lives everywhere, Picterus AS has developed a mobile health solution called Picterus Jaundice Pro. With just a smartphone and a credit card-sized calibration card, this CE-marked medical device provides an immediate bilirubin estimate to assess the severity of jaundice, aiding in timely diagnosis and treatment.

An urgent need for an easy-to-use point-of-service solution

As hospital stays after birth get shorter and shorter, the need for a flexible solution to monitor newborns in the first weeks of life increases. For newborn jaundice, current options raise many barriers to adequate and timely management of jaundice. Transcutaneous screening devices are expensive and unavailable in many places, especially at the community level. Blood tests are invasive, expensive and require access to trained personnel and a laboratory. Therefore, many health care workers still assess the severity of jaundice by simply looking at the color of the newborn’s skin, which is unreliable.

Improving Jaundice Care

The Picterus Jaundice Pro mobile screening solution captures images of the baby’s skin to accurately estimate bilirubin value and determine the severity of jaundice in seconds. The patented calibration card corrects the lighting environment and smartphone camera characteristics of acquired photos. With minimal requirements for mobile phone connectivity, Jaundice Pro is accessible in a variety of healthcare settings, including inpatient, outpatient and home care, and requires minimal training from healthcare professionals or lay users while guiding them through each step of the process.

“Picterus is dedicated to improving the quality of care for newborn babies everywhere,” said Picterus CEO Tormod Thomsen. “With just a few images from your phone, jaundice can be monitored anywhere, saving healthcare resources and preventing a distressing experience for babies and their families.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has opened great opportunities for telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. Mobile health technologies are in a unique position to meet the challenges of building sustainable health systems and equal access to care. Picterus is exploring new ways to provide integrated newborn care solutions to healthcare professionals and parents.

Contact Picterus to discuss how we can improve the beginnings of all lives together.

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