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Collaboration in the Testing of Anemia: Biosense Technology

Testing for anaemia is usually invasive, expensive; time-consuming and requires medical know-how.

Biosense Technologies’ has developed a non-invasive device to test for anaemia.

The device: ToucHb provides an estimation of Haemoglobin (Hb) for mass screening of anaemia. Besides Hb the device also captures oxygen saturation and pulse rate. The device is portable, runs on batteries and gives instant results (less than a minute). The technology is inexpensive and convenient even for a non-medical worker to take it to the doorsteps of the affected community.

The technology: Absorption of Near –Infrared region (NIR) light by different types of Hb is predominant. Light absorption by other blood analytes is negligible. Hence, NIR can be treated as a window for determining light absorption by Hb. The finger using the NIR, and proprietary algorithm analyzes the signals reflected from the tissue depicting the Hb, oxygen saturation and pulse rate.

The Potential: ToucHb has a potential to be more effective because of its non-invasive nature. It does not require any skill to operate, no recurrent costs, no bio-waste, has a low cost per test, is portable and more than a diagnostic tool, it is a system to monitor anaemia that helps in reallocation of invaluable resources to where needed most.

Development stage: Clinical trials in Nair Hospital, Mumbai, completed – they achieved an excellent correlation coefficient with the Gold standard. They are now ready for field trials to test user acceptance among health workers and other non-medical workers. They have fine-tuned the device to make it more portable and lighter. Approximate cost will be Rs. 10,000 ($200) per device.


  1. A device like this can help us scale up anaemia detection, at a minimal cost. Presently one anaemia blood test costs Rs. 25 to Rs. 30.
  2. Can be used by our health workers





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