New Photographic Cholesterol Test
By on August 18th, 2012

A new non-invasive technique for detecting cholesterol levels has been devised by researchers in India. All you need now is a photograph.

Currently, cholesterol levels are measured from the blood. A lipid profile of the blood taken after 9-12 hours of fasting gives cholesterol levels. When cholesterol levels increase, this molecule id starts getting deposited in the tendons of the fingers, among other tissues. Researchers at the Sree Sastha Institute for Engineering and Technology have used this fact and created a database of finger images from cholesterol patients whose cholesterol levels were already known. They then used this database to estimate the cholesterol levels of new samples.

This blood prick for cholesterol might just become obsolete if recent technology can be improved upon. [Image Credit: marthaslifetaketwo]

While this could make cholesterol testing more widespread and convenient, this technology cannot estimate the levels of the two types of cholesterol individually. High density cholesterol (HDL), colloquially known as ‘good cholesterol’ is actually beneficial to the body, whereas low density cholesterol (LDL) is what is responsible for much of cholesterol’s unsavory image. This is because excess LDL in the blood is deposited in blood vessels as plaques which then lead to heart disease.

This test is thus limited to being an initial estimate of risk factors for heart disease. Further research on distinguishing patterns of LDL from images would make the applications of this product more holistic.

You can read about this research here.

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Author: Shweta Ramdas
Beginning life as a grad student studying human genetics.

Shweta Ramdas has written and can be contacted at

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