While making rounds of the internet today, I came across a very interesting piece about a smartphone that can test for sexually transmitted diseases. In 15 minutes, no less!
The new device for smartphones was created by researchers at Columbia University and it can test for HIV and syphilis, providing accurate results in 15 minutes. The device is the result of over three years of research and engineering work, and it indicated that the device could revolutionize tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) faster and more accurate in areas where visiting a doctor for treatment isn’t feasible.
An author of a paper on the device, Samuel Sia’s paper was published in the journal of Science and Translational Medicine. The study was funded in part by the United States Agency for International Development with a focus on reducing the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases from mothers to children.
The device is essentially a two-part system which is composed of a piece of hardware known as a dongle, which attaches to the smartphone via the headphone jack, and a software application (or “app”) which corresponds with the hardware. To use the mobile STD tester, which runs on the phone’s power source, one just plugs the dongle in and takes a blood sample with the prick of a finger. Insert the sample into a disposable plastic collector and connect the collector to a microfluidic chip which analyzes the sample. Next, insert the chip with the blood sample into the dongle, open the app, wait about 15 minutes and you have your results.
What do you think of this new $34 STD tester designed to work with a smartphone?