Press Release

Disclosures: Lam reports being co-founder of Sanguina Inc., as well as being a current shareholder.
May 06, 2021
2 min read

Sanguina, AstraZeneca develop smartphone app for personalized anemia management in CKD


Press Release

Disclosures: Lam reports being co-founder of Sanguina Inc., as well as being a current shareholder.
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Sanguina has launched a study to examine how its smartphone app that measures hemoglobin levels, known as AnemoCheck Mobile, can be customized for use by patients with chronic kidney disease-related anemia.

The pilot study, which is a collaborative effort between Sanguina, AstraZeneca and Nephronet, began in December 2020 and includes 30 patients with CKD.

Anemia management in CKD

To learn more about the study itself, as well as what researchers hope to achieve by targeting the existing app to this specific patient population, Healio Nephrology spoke with Wilbur A. Lam, MD, PhD, the chief medical officer of Sanguina.

“Patients with CKD are at high risk for associated complications, such as anemia, and often have treatment schedules that are dictated by Hgb-level measurements that have historically required the use of specialized equipment and laboratory blood draws,” Lam said. “AnemoCheck Mobile is the first smartphone application and web platform to estimate Hgb levels with a snapshot of a fingernail. The app analyzes the pallor of the patient’s nailbed to estimate hemoglobin level.”

Lam described the current user base as consisting of a wide range of individuals who may be at risk for anemia. Users include those with iron or nutrient deficiencies, genetic blood disorders (eg, sickle cell disease or beta thalassemia), bleeding disorders (eg, menorrhagia), patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment and women who are pregnant.

“We are collaborating with physicians treating patients with bleeding disorders, geriatric populations, oncology patients and even groups at higher risk for nutrient deficiencies, like refugees,” he added.

According to Lam, the purpose of the study is to bring the app into the realm of personalized medicine by customizing the algorithm for individual patients.

“The study will aim to train the AnemoCheck Mobile algorithm with complete blood count (CBC) Hgb-level measurements and app images of fingernails,” he said. “After training, the study will test the custom algorithms in individual patients by comparing custom app results against CBC Hgb levels. Results from the AnemoCheck study will inform the accuracy and reproducibility of data to inform the practicality of the new personalized tool for patients with anemia of CKD.”

Further, Lam highlighted that the study cohort is ethnically diverse (including individuals of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander descent), which will enable the app to address health disparities because these groups have an increased risk for CKD.

“Due to the simple, noninvasive nature of the technology, the custom version of AnemoCheck Mobile has the potential to revolutionize the way individual patients monitor their hemoglobin levels in the privacy of their own homes or in remote settings,” Lam said. “Further, patients with CKD are typically taking erythropoiesis stimulating agents, which mitigate anemia. This technology has the potential to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment and, in collaboration with their physician, adjust dosing from home.”

Sanguina anticipates that results from the study will be available in the third quarter of 2021.