News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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UK Research Team Develops Diagnostic USB Device That Detects HIV and Measures Viral Load from Human Blood for Use in Developing Countries

Clinical laboratory assays on a USB stick could become a powerful tool in the treatment and containment of HIV-1 in low-resource regions, such as sub-Saharan Africa

Imagine a small USB device that plugs into a computer and, using a small sample of blood, is capable of detecting the presence of HIV and measuring its viral load in that individual. Such technology exists and was created by a team of scientists in the United Kingdom (UK).  However, it is not yet ready for use by clinical laboratories.

Researchers at Imperial College London company, DNA Electronics, have developed a diagnostic USB stick that measures the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well as the viral load in a person’s blood, and in less than 30 minutes. The platform promises to be an important milestone for the medical laboratory treatment and containment of pandemic diseases that pose a serious threat to global health.

A story published on the mobile technology news blog Quartz pointed out that more than 24-million of the 37-million people worldwide infected with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa. It is widely recognized that high cost and lack of access to medical care and clinical laboratory services remain a barrier to diagnosis, treatment, and containment of the disease. “[I]mproving diagnostics is now a key part of global strategies to combat [HIV],” wrote the study authors in a paper published in Nature Research journal Scientific Reports. (more…)

British Researchers Working on a Way to Use Cell Phones to Perform Pathology Tests for STDs

Clinical laboratory-on-a-chip would cost under £1 and allow young people to test themselves for sexually-transmitted diseases

Some wags call a new diagnostic testing concept the “pee in the cell phone” pathology lab test. The humor is directed at cell phone-based medical laboratory tests under development in the hopes that this confidential and private diagnostic test method will encourage more young people to undergo testing for sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).

Newspapers in the United Kingdom are reporting on a research project—funded in part by the government—to develop STD tests that can be run on a USB-size chip that is inserted into a smart phone or a personal computer.

This project is a response to the significant rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among young people. In the United Kingdom, the rate of new infections for herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea are rising to record levels.

Clinical Laboratory Test on a Cell Phone or Personal Computer