Rough night on the town? How would you like your smartphone to tell you whether you are infected?
The researchers in UCLA startup Holomic have developed a technology that turns a smartphone into a reader for Rapid-Diagnostic-Tests (RDT) such as home pregnancy, thyroid, HIV, malaria, and influenza tests.
The new reader technology is called Home RDT (HRDT). It uses a smartphone’s camera to scan the RTD test specimens, analyze and interpret the test results. It provides reliable and quick results of the hard-to-read tests, along with the power of other smartphone features like cloud computing and location tracking.
The reader uses an optical adapter that mechanically clips to the smartphone camera. To use the reader, you insert the test sample in to the reader and clip it onto the smartphone. The app is programmed to digitize the results of the test from the camera image. Once the image is confirmed to be a valid test, the app analyzes the image and displays the result of the test. These test results can be uploaded to a centralized database for further analysis or to track where on the earth a disease outbreak is occurring through its interface with Google Maps.
The HRDT is an innovative use of smartphone for testing infectious diseases. We may not be too far away from being able to carry a portable medical center in our pockets.