Medical device maker QuantuMDx said it had completed a working prototype of its handheld DNA analyzer, which could improve treatments in the developing world and provide early warnings of epidemics.
With a drop of blood, said device (Q-POC) can test for diseases such as Ebola, gonorrhea, HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, as well as identify drug-resistant strains of the illnesses. The best part is that tests take no longer than 10 to 20 minutes.
With a drop of blood, Q-POC can test for diseases such as Ebola, gonorrhea, HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, as well as identify drug-resistant strains of the illnesses.This handheld laboratory is touted to enable doctors “with a chance to provide the right therapeutic” during what’s often the one shot they’ve got, said Jonathan O’Halloran, chief scientific officer at QuantuMDx, during an interview with Re/code at the TEDMED conference in San Francisco.
The Newcastle, UK-based company noted the data gathered by frontline health workers can also be anonymized, geo-stamped and uploaded into the cloud, allowing researchers to identify real-time distribution of diseases and mutation patterns of pathogens. This information can then be used to prevent outbreaks from tipping into epidemics or pandemics.
The Q-POC device itself is likely to cost around $1,000, while cartridges to test for various diseases will run anywhere from a few dollars up to $100.
QuantuMDx is looking to get an Investigational Device Exemption from the FDA later this year or early next, which would accelerate the approval process. Meanwhile, it plans to roll out the product in developing countries by the end of 2015, for what it doesn’t need an FDA approval…