Columbia bioengineering professor Samuel K. Sia has developed a cheap smartphone dongle that can detect three infectious disease markers from a finger prick of blood in 15 minutes. The device replicates mechanical, optical, and electronic functions of a lab based blood test. It performs an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay without requiring stored energy, as power is drawn from the phone. Its triplexed immunoassay — HIV antibody, treponemal-specific antibody for syphilis, and non-treponemal antibody for active syphilis infection — is not currently available in a single test format.
This could be a breakthrough for disease prevention in the developing world. A recent study details 96 patients in Rwanda who tested whole blood obtained via a finger prick, with the goal of preventing mother to child disease transmission.
Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences