Very soon, patients will no longer need to go to a lab for blood tests. Rather, they will have the lab in their pockets and have blood tests carried out just about anywhere and anytime with a smartphone
Going to the lab frequently to monitor blood flow can really become a pain in the backside especially for patients who rely on the use of coagulants to limit the formation of blood clots in their veins. To wage a solution to this problem, a group of researchers at a micro-engineering laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) developed a diagnostic tool that performs blood tests through the capacitive touchscreen of smartphones. With the new diagnostic tool, Qloudlab CEO Arthur is hoping that in future, the various challenges associated with having routine blood test by patients taking anticoagulants would be eliminated.
“My father just had a stroke and I thought the concentration of technology in smartphones/tablets could be useful for medical applications. This is where I came up with this idea to turn the electric field generated by the touchscreen to perform blood diagnostic testing.” Queval told Wired UK.
Basically, once this system which is still in its research phrase becomes commercially available, also expected to be around 2015. Patients would just have to place a highly-engineered plastic layer on top of the smartphone’s screen, and place a drop of blood on the film which will interact with a special molecule to initiate coagulation. The entire process will disrupt the screen’s constant electrical field in a very unique way, and can then be analyzed by the company’s app. Currently, this system is being tested with Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and results coming out from Qloudlab looks positive, with the company assuring that the diagnostic tool would be made to work on other major smartphones.
Upon accurate results from the test, which is what Qloudlab intends, before rolling out the system. Patients can then forward same result to a doctor for further medication. The tool has potential for expansion, including possiblity of carrying out blood glucose levels test. Qloudlab has reportedly filed for a patent. With the current trend of technology, our world is getting smaller and even “smartphones” themselves would be amazed by how so fast humans have changed its world and how great a impact it is having on our lives.
Image via Qloudlab