Bilirubin was first detected in blood in 1847 and since then has become one of the most widely used biomarkers for liver disease. Clinical routine bilirubin testing is performed at the hospital laboratory, and the gold standard colorimetric test is prone to interferences. The absence of a bedside test for bilirubin delays critical clinical decisions for patients with liver disease. This clinical care gap has motivated the development of a new generation of bioengineered point-of-care bilirubin assays. In this Perspective, recently developed bilirubin assays are critically discussed, and their translational potential evaluated.