Most people would agree that only looking at your bank account once a year is a bad idea, yet when we look at our own health, the only data many of us collect is from a once-a-year checkup, in which doctors will run a series of laboratory tests. These tests are a single data point describing the very dynamic systems that are our bodies, which change throughout the year. In order to start understanding our health better, we need a way to improve access to the full breadth of tests conducted in a laboratory. Our point of entry to this industry will be Urinalysis.
What is Urinalysis?
Urinalysis is a term used to describe a series of physical and chemical examinations performed on urine samples.
This type of test is typically used for screening and diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), renal or liver diseases, and diseases that originate in other parts of the body but can be detected through unusually high levels of certain compounds found in urine. It is generally a quick and simply procedure that allows doctors to gather a lot of information.
How Does it Work?
Urinalysis is split into two primary types of tests: Gross and Chemical, and Microscopic.
Gross and Chemical Exams include:
• Urine appearance and color
• Urine pH
• Urine protein
• Specific gravity
Microscopic Exams include:
• Bacteria and other microorganisms
• Red Blood Cells
The most common procedure is the dipstick, a chemical exam involving a plastic strip with a series of pads that will change color due to a chemical reaction that occurs in the presence of certain compounds. Microscopic exams are conducted by a trained professional using a light microscope.
Urinalysis is an effective tool for detecting early signs of disease and a good indicator of one’s health. Doctors can easily track body parameters like water consumption, urinary pH, ketones, urinary tract infections, liver, and kidney functions, which inform about hydration status, eating habits, balanced chemistry, or possible infections. It is fast and cost effective, as early diagnosis allows for preventative treatment, and thus can save the expenses that come with procedures that might be required if a disease is allowed to progress.
Expanding the Use Cases of Urinalysis
Because Urinalysis is such a simple procedure (both due to the nature of the sample and the invention of the urine dipstick) and almost anyone who isn’t colorblind can read the results, Fluxergy believes that Urinalysis can be made easily available outside of the doctor’s office through the Fluxergy platform. The widespread availability of this test will allow people to better monitor and understand their health. As we develop our compact analyzer, the potential use cases of this technology continue to broaden. From use in the office for corporate health programs to fitness centers, health clubs, and hotels to use in the house, we hope to expand current health data collection capabilities.