This portable device brings the clinic to your mobile phone through a small plug-in device. The plug-in utilises immunoassay, which is a form of genetic analysis, to identify up to ten common infections. It is also able to identify resistance to the five most commonly used antibiotic groups. It has replaceable sample analysis strips; each strip takes a different sample type (blood, urine or saliva), allowing the identification of a range of infections. It is compact, fitting in a pocket and uses a highly stable technique so untrained people can use it in the field.
There is real potential that a breakthrough in the field of cheap novel diagnostics will be facilitated through the adaptation of mobile devices. The development of software and hardware for mobile devices with health applications is growing and there are a large number of examples of innovations for the developing world, or areas where there are fewer resources available. From reusable hardware and software to cheaply test the hearing of babies in India, to cardiac telemedicine devices in Africa, the field of mobile medicine is growing fast. There has already been work by Columbia Engineering to develop a phone accessory to detect HIV and Syphilis.
- it's cheap - this device will replicate the function of lab technology that normally costs thousands of pounds
- it's portable - this device can be used in any location with only a smart phone
- it's flexible - the use of multiple types of sample strip means that it is possible to test for a large range of infections