Anemia, which affects two billion people worldwide, is now diagnosed and monitored using blood tests conducted with costly test equipment maintained in hospitals, clinics or commercial laboratories.
A new concept suggests a better way to diagnose anemia; using a simple point-of-care testing device a more rapid and more affordable diagnosis could be conducted at-home.
The test device was developed in a collaboration of Emory University, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology – all based in Atlanta. It grew out of a 2011 undergraduate senior design project in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. In 2013, it was among the winners of Georgia Tech’s InVenture Prize, an innovation competition for undergraduate students, and won first place in the Ideas to SERVE Competition in Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business.
This disposable self-testing device analyzes a single droplet of blood using a chemical reagent that produces visible color changes corresponding to different levels of anemia. The basic test produces results in about 60 seconds and requires no electrical power. A companion smartphone app can automatically correlate the visual results to specific blood hemoglobin levels.
The test device was developed in a collaboration of Emory University, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology.By allowing rapid diagnosis and more convenient monitoring of patients with chronic anemia, the device could help patients receive treatment before the disease becomes severe, potentially heading off emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
A startup company, Sanguina, will try to commercialize the test, which will be known as AnemoCheck. The test will require approval from the FDA, and if everything goes as planned, the device will be on pharmacy shelves sometime in 2016.
Going forward, the company will look to extend its technology and explore how it may be applied to other diseases, such as sickle cell anemia. Un upgraded AnemoCheck could serve as an indispensable tool in the emerging markets of the world…