Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) have become a part of our lives in one form or the other. Be it as a test for pregnancy, glucose level in the blood or even strep throat RDTs are being relied upon on a daily basis. However, there has always been that inkling of uncertainty shrouding the whole procedure, especially with regards to possible human error in reading results. Even so, researchers at UCLA are vying to change that and make RDTs a lot more accurate.
Reducing Human Error
RDTs require dropping fluid samples on a small strip, and then we rely on the human eye to read the results obtained on the strip. The size of both the strip and in turn the sample connote that there is always room for human error. The UCLA researchers have removed that particular error out of the equation by ensuring that the results aren’t read by a very fallible human eye and have instead digitized. By developing a digital “universal” reader for diagnostic tests, there is no longer any need of interpretation of results and there now the readings would have uniformity as well.
RDT-Reader on Mobile Phones
The aforementioned device is touted as “an RDT-reader attachment that clips onto a cell phone.” It weighs 65 grams, has a lens, two AA batteries, and three LED arrays and has already been tested on iPhone and Android-based smartphones for positive results.
The attachment is programmed to read all sorts of RDT, and is extremely simple to use. The user merely has to insert the strip in an attachment, whose phone in turn converts it into a digital image for the user to read the required readings and values on their cell phone.
Monitoring Disease Spread
After going through the results, there is another app that tells the user whether the results are positive or negative and indeed if the digital RTD is valid in the first place or not. The reader can then transmit the readings to a server which processes the values, stores them and maps them – courtesy Google Maps – to keep tabs on its spread.
This device is a major breakthrough for anyone who is related to medicine and health. This would unravel the cause-effect linkage with unprecedented ease and would be an invaluable tool to counter infectious diseases. This would not only increase the success rate of the diagnosis, it would also increase the accuracy of results to unprecedented levels.
The device would also help us the trends of diseases and their whereabouts. This in turn would help us judge whether going to a particular area on a particular day is advisable or not.
Author Bio: Natalia David, an author significantly contributes towards security software to monitor various activities on iPhone, android monitoring software, PC security Software and spy software for blackberry. If you want to know more about Natalia you can follow her on twitter @NataliaDavid4