Anemia is one of the most common nutritional disorders, estimated to affect about one-third of the world’s population. It is particularly serious for pregnant women as it doubles the risk of death. Global progress to reduce anemia prevalence has been however slow and we at BioAnalyt want to accelerate this progress.
Anemia is a condition of the blood where there are not enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin, which carry oxygen throughout the body. The main causes of anemia are micronutrient deficiencies (e.g. iron), infections, non-communicable inflammation, and genetic disorders. Worldwide, $50 billion in GDP is lost annually as a result of anemia’s effect on reduced work productivity.
The most common and affordable diagnostics in the field can test only hemoglobin levels in blood. Hemoglobin levels indicate whether an individual has anemia or not, but cannot provide information about anemia’s underlying cause. This often leads to a blanket treatment approach for anemia, via iron supplementation, which can be ineffective, harmful, or even fatal to individuals with inflammation and/or genetic disorders.
To diagnose the underlying cause of anemia, blood samples must be sent to laboratories for expensive and time-consuming analyses. The need for laboratory analysis delays the delivery of effective treatment in developed countries, while in low- and middle-income countries it may not be available or affordable. This analysis is necessary to customize a treatment regimen and improve the effectiveness of treatment and prevention strategies at individual and population levels.
Here comes iCheck Anemia to the rescue! iCheck Anemia is a rapid, portable, cost-effective solution to bring laboratory quality results to the sample at point-of-care, using only a few drops of blood. This tool will combine measurements for hemoglobin and zinc protoporphyrin, which will help not only to diagnose anemia, but also to determine attribution to iron deficiency. This will ensure diagnosed individuals are offered an optimized treatment plan that meets their precise needs. iCheck Anemia will be useful for nutrition status surveys in low- and middle-income countries as well as in clinical and other point-of-care settings globally. Over time, we will add other biomarkers to iCheck Anemia to further disentangle anemia’s complicated etiology. More here.