Design of appropriate technology-assisted urine tester enabling remote and long-term monitoring of health conditions

Hyun Kyung Lee, Jeong Hyeon Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A novel design idea supported by affordable design processes can address unresolved social problems such as the imbalance of opportunity in healthcare services, owing to high costs and a lack of access. We designed an appropriate technology-assisted urine tester to provide healthcare services for the elderly and underprivileged in order to monitor their health conditions daily and remotely help them determine whether to visit hospitals/clinics for in-depth diagnoses. To minimize production costs, we used a charge-coupled device camera for colorimetric-type urine analysis in conjunction with commercially available urine test strips; all other electronic components were mass-produced. We calibrated this urine tester and compared it with a commercially available high-end tester; the results showed high accuracy for most urine compounds. We verified its major device functions by recruiting four participants who tested their urine over four weeks and provided self-surveys of their health conditions. The proposed tester demonstrates a low price-to-performance ratio with high reliability, while its production and maintenance costs are as low as 20 USD per set. We focused on a human-centered technological approach from a simple and innovative design point of view in order to serve people and healthcare providers in an affordable way. We believe that the tester can be widely distributed, exemplifying appropriate technological application for those who require, but cannot enjoy, proper medical services, thereby improving social healthcare sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5165
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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