Anaemia Diagnosis At Rs 1: How Does This Paper Strip Test Work?

Cheaper, quicker and, accurate - This IIT Kharagpur professor is trying to change how anaemia is diagnosed in India.

2 min read

Video Editor: Rajbir Singh

In India:

  • 67 percent children under the age of five, 

  • 57 percent women, 

  • and 25 percent men 

Suffer from anaemia, according to data from the National Family Health Survey-5.

But when 23 crore people in India earn less than Rs 375 a day, paying Rs 150 for a blood test to diagnose anaemia isn’t an option for everyone.

But an IIT Kharagpur professor is claiming that he can bring down the cost of getting a haemoglobin test done from Rs 150 to Rs 1.50.

Dr Suman Chakraborty, a professor of mechanical engineering at IIT Kharagpur, and his team have come up with a simple test to check one’s haemoglobin levels and diagnose anaemia.

Why Was a New Test Needed?

While it's not difficult to get a blood test done in India, it isn’t also freely accessible to everyone. Not every village or town in India has a pathology lab. And not everyone can pay what a test costs.

What sets Professor Chakraborty’s test apart, in that case, is that- 

  1. It eliminates the need for a lab infrastructure. All you require is filter paper, a smartphone, and a syringe.

  2. Test results are instant. 

  3. It makes it cheaper to get tested for anaemia.

  4. The test doesn't compromise on accuracy.


How Does It Work?

Here is how the test works:

  • Take a filter paper.

  • Soak it with anhydrous glycerol completely. 

  • Place the paper in a glass enclosure.

  • Prick your finger with a lancet.

  • Place the drop of blood on the paper. 

  • Take a picture of the pattern it creates. 

  • Upload it on Hemo-App. 

The app will give you an impression of whether you have mild, moderate, or severe anaemia based on the pattern the blood creates.

Could This Test Be a Potential Gamechanger For Rural India?

So far, the test has been used in 45 clinics in Bihar with 98 percent accuracy recorded. 

The team is now trying to set this up on a bigger level by collaborating with government agencies to make diagnosing anaemia quicker and easier. 

What one can only hope for now is that more people being diagnosed with anaemia leads to more people being treated for it as well.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Anaemia 

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