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World’s First Portable, Non-Invasive WBC Monitoring Device to Eliminate Need for Blood Draw

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Oct 2023
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Image: PointCheck is the world’s first device for non-invasive white cell monitoring (Photo courtesy of Leuko Labs)
Image: PointCheck is the world’s first device for non-invasive white cell monitoring (Photo courtesy of Leuko Labs)

One of the toughest challenges for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy is experiencing a low count of white blood cells, also known as neutropenia. These cells play a crucial role in warding off infections. A low count leaves patients, who are already vulnerable due to cancer, susceptible to other diseases. Furthermore, if the white blood cell count drops too much, it can become risky to proceed with additional chemotherapy sessions. Monitoring these cell levels is therefore critical for patient care. Now, a new portable device allows patients to monitor their white blood cell counts from the comfort of their homes, without needing to draw blood. This is a game-changer as it enables more frequent testing for millions of patients with compromised immune systems, ultimately improving their clinical results and quality of life.

Leuko Labs Inc. (Boston, MA, USA) is developing PointCheck, the first-of-its-kind device that noninvasively screens for severe neutropenia. The device works by imaging blood as it flows through the capillaries in the finger, enabling it to determine whether white blood cell levels have reached critically low points, all without the need for a blood sample. Designed for home use, the finger-based test involves shining light onto the skin near the fingernail to capture images of blood cells in the surface-level capillaries. The device then uses Leuko Labs' specialized AI algorithms to assess whether the white blood cell count is dangerously low in just one minute.

The key benefit of PointCheck lies in its ability to flag elevated infection risks, thus prompting timely preventive treatments before an actual infection takes hold. Detecting severely low levels of neutrophils—a common subtype of white blood cells—early and continuous monitoring can prevent serious infections such as febrile neutropenia. Because PointCheck is noninvasive and quick, it empowers patients to monitor their own neutrophil levels at home, facilitating timely and effective treatment.

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