A team of researchers from Columbia University has come up with a new smartphone accessory that detects STDs in a matter of minutes. The accessory can detect the markers of two STDs by a simple prick of a finger.
STDs tests can take several days before the results gets back to the patients, but this new smartphone accessory that detects STDs can do so in around 15 minutes. With this accessory you can find out if you’ve got HIV or syphilis faster than with traditional STD tests.
Samuel K. Sia is a professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University and he’s one of the researchers that was involved in this new study. He explained that detecting these two diseases with the help of this new smartphone accessory is going to help save money and it is more private and convenient for patients. He also added that this new smartphone accessory that detects STDs in under 15 minutes is going to be of real help in countries where STDs are a very serious problem.
The device works by copying the methods used in labs to detects HIV antibodies and markers used to detect syphilis. For example, in order to accurately detect if the patient has syphilis, the smartphone accessory runs tests for the non treponemal antibody and the treponemal one. For power, the device uses the smartphone’s battery.
The researchers have worked in collaboration with the Rwanda Biomedical Center, the local Ministry of Health and the Institute of HIV Disease and Prevention to test the new device on 96 pregnant women from Rwanda.
Professor Sia revealed that the accessory can only detect syphilis and HIV because these two diseases are transmittable from mother to infant during pregnancy and/or birth.
Recent reports have shown that around 1.5 million pregnant women from around the world are infected with syphilis. While the disease itself is treatable, half of these women will not get treated for the disease which will cause still births and even infant death.
The details of this new smartphone accessory that detects STDs in minutes were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine this yesterday, February 4, 2015.
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