DIAGNOSIS NOW POSSIBLE WITH SMARTPHONE
Blood tests and diagnosis of diseases have been time consuming activities traditionally. Now, a smartphone accessory promises to do both in less than ten minutes. Read on to find out more.
What if we told you that you could diagnose syphilis and HIV in less than 15 minutes without having to go to the lab for giving your blood, and without having to wait for a couple of days for the results to come back?
You would say that we’re in the world of science fiction, but we live in the technological age, where science fiction is not that removed from science fact. For instance, much of what the great science fiction masters of old speculated about is now possible in our real lives – with the notable exception of time travel.
So this machine, developed by the biomedical engineering team at Columbia University, is being called a dongle, and it attaches itself to your smartphone to perform a blood test and a complete diagnosis where currently, its diagnostic limitations stop at looking for syphilis and HIV. The device works by performing an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that looks for three antibodies all at the same time – the HIV antibody, and two different antibodies for syphilis.
The device has already The device works by performing an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that looks for three antibodies all at the same time – the HIV antibody, and two different antibodies for syphilis been piloted by health-care workers in Rwanda, who tested 96 patients enrolled into programs to help prevent the transmission of infectious diseases from mother to child. The results came back within 15 minutes, with sensitivity of 92 to 100 percent.
Needless to say, this dongle presents unique opportunities, especially in the developing countries where lab testing is expensive and time consuming. Now with this dongle, a typical procedure costs only $34 as opposed to the $1500 it takes for a regular immunoassay the traditional way.
So the day may not be far off when you can perform a blood test on yourself and get the diagnosis back in a matter of minutes.