Low-cost smartphone dongle can test for HIV, syphilis

Low-cost smartphone dongle can test for HIV, syphilis

Biomedical engineers from Columbia University have developed a smartphone dongle and an accompanying app that work as mobile blood test lab for viruses that cause AIDS and the bacteria that leads to syphilis.

The portable device attaches to the smartphone’s headphone jack, featuring a one-time-use cassette and hand-activated pump that draws the blood into the dongle to mix with chemicals for identifying HIV and syphilis blood markers. Blood test results take about 15 minutes, and the entire setup costs some $34 to build, making it ideal for rural areas and developing parts of the world.

In comparison, the typical equipment needed to run the traditional test at a laboratory would require $18,000, according to the researchers.

“People [developing such devices] were not focused on usability,” said Samuel Sia, research leader an associate professor of biomedical engineering. “If you have a test that takes 20 steps and a laboratory staff, that’s not going to make an impact on society.”

Low-cost smartphone dongle can test for HIV, syphilis

[Via: Live Science]