We describe the development and clinical evaluation of an automated smartphone-linked sensor capable of chemical-free, quantitative measurement of hemoglobin concentration ([Hb]) in whole blood samples. We have demonstrated that our sensor could analyze an unprocessed blood specimen with a mean processing time of <8 s and provided the [Hb] results with ~99% accuracy against a reference hematology analyzer with coefficient of variation (CV) of 1.21% measured at [Hb] = 11.2 g/dL. Its diagnostic capability for anemia was evaluated by measuring [Hb] of 142 clinical blood specimens and comparing the results with those from an automated hematology analyzer (ADVIA 2120i, Siemens AG, Germany) and a portable hemoglobinomteter (Hb201+, Hemocue, Sweden). The sensor yielded comparable sensitivities and specificities of 87.50% and 100.00% for males, and 94.44% and 100.00% for females, respectively, for anemic detection. The results suggested that our optical sensor based on the intrinsic photothermal response of Hb molecules and advances in consumer electronics, particularly smartphone capabilities, enables a direct, chemical-free [Hb] assay accessible to people in both developed and developing countries.
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