Diagnose 100s of Diseases from a Single Drop of Blood
The digital revolution has had a huge impact on nearly every aspect of life but it appears that the health benefits of 21st century revolutions in computing and sensor technology have been a little slower to develop. There are offerings from Apple, Google, LG and a host of other companies such as heart rate monitors and sleep trackers which are frequently incorporated into smart watches and bracelets, but they don’t come close to replacing the local GP and aren’t able to offer diagnosis like a medical professional, until now that it.
The rHealth X1 is an award winning piece of technology that can diagnose hundreds of diseases using just a single drop of blood. While it probably won’t replace your doctor it is certainly a landmark development for those people living in places without access to a local medical practitioner.
The technology behind the rHealth X1 was developed over several years aided by funding from NASA, the National Institutes of health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and has just received this year’s Nokia Sensing XChallenge award which aims to improve the innovations in sensor technologies that address medical and healthcare problems.
The rHealth X1 works by having a small drop of blood placed into a little receptacle. Inside this receptacle there are nano-strips and with areas that react to the bloods content which the device can then measure. It can diagnose everything from the flu to Ebola in just a few minutes. The device also has a patch that can be worn to give continuous health readings such as EKG, heart rate, body temperature etc and all this data can be communicated to a smart phone via Bluetooth and a handy App.
Getting all the sensors and detection equipment into such a compact device was quite a challenge for Dr. Eugene Chan and his colleagues at the DNA Medical Institute (DMI) who developed this device. They are currently preparing for the Tricorder Xprize, which sets the goal for creating a universal Star Trek inspired medical diagnostic tool. If successful the team will take home a further $10 Million in prize money that should help fund the project to reach greater diagnostic achievements.
In third world countries a diagnostics tool like this could save countless lives and has applications across the board for use by the general public and medical professionals alike.