Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Smartphone APP development

Faculty PI:

Ricky Wang, Ph.D.

Immediate Mentor/Supervisor:

Qinghua He

Project or Start-Up Company Name:

Smartphone APP development

Lab/Project Website:

Work Location:

William Foege Building

Work Hours (include recurring team meetings, special events, etc.):

Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM

Overall Program Goal:

The overall goal of this project is to develop an APP that can turn a smartphone into a hyperspectral imager, and that can provide accurate assessment of chromophores presented in the skin tissue. Such measurement of chromophores that can be conducted without additional investments and expertise to an ordinary smartphone will be suitable for widespread use, especially for populations in the shortage of medical resources.

Currently, we have developed a beta version of SpeCamX, a mobile app that can convert a smartphone into a hyperspectral imager. The APP works on the Google Pixel 4 platform. With this app, we tested an augmented smartphone bilirubinometer to predict the blood bilirubin level (BBL) in patients with liver disease. We also developed a first version hybrid prediction model based on machine learning algorithms to predict the BBL. The next step is to validate the APP for the measurements of other chromophores, for example, hemoglobin, melanin, bacteria load etc.

Intern Project Description and Responsibilities:

For this intern project, you will be required to work on 1) testing the practical feasibility of hyperspectral imaging using a smartphone under un-controlled illumination conditions and improving the algorithm thereof, and 2) incorporating the improved algorithms into the existing APP.


You should have some experience in engineering labs. Programming skills using Matlab and/or python are needed. While it is not essential, interests and knowledge in biomedical optics is desirable, for example what makes the skin color as it looks. The position is open to engineering and/or computing science students.    

Level of Independence:

You will work with a team under close supervision of a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. Your project may be adjusted slightly depending on your capabilities shortly after you join the team.

Learning Opportunities:

Learning outcomes include Hands-on experience in solving realistic engineering problems, knowledge in biomedical imaging, knowledge on smartphone applications in healthcare, and knowledge in developing APPs for smartphones. You will also gain experience in working in a team environment, and communicating your ideas to others, including industries.