I found something today that really caught my idea — a handheld lab that can potentially eliminate the wait time for finding out blood test results.
This handheld lab is a smartphone-enable blood-testing system. It was developed by researchers at the University of Rhode Island. Not only will it eliminate the long waiting period for test results, but requires less blood in order to be tested.
I know how frustrating and, well, nerve racking, the wait game to be. And getting blood drawn is my least favorite thing because of my tiny veins — on average, I have to get poked three times before enough blood is taken. This was the exact case a few weeks ago when I had to get three vials of blood drawn, and then wait five long days for the results. Oh, how I would have loved for this technology to be at my doctor’s office.
It works like this:
What the university calls “lab-on-a-chip technology” needs just a drop of blood for analysis. The blood is placed on a disposable, credit card-sized plastic polymer cartridge and inserted into a hand-held biosensor, where it reacts with reagents so a sensor can detect certain disease biomarkers
While this doesn’t seem like it would work in all cases, it’s pretty neat. This will likely open the door for a lot more “instant result” innovations being created.
As I was reading the article, I thought — well, I wonder if this could be available to consumers. My answer was quickly answered part way through. Mohammad Faghri, the lead researcher, said that it can even be done from home. It’s another way for patients to take control of their health care. While the first generation version cost $3,200 for the sensor, the most recent version is only $10, making it very affordable for just about everyone.