A 34$ Smart Phone can do HIV and Syphilis detection

A 34$ Smart Phone can do HIV and Syphilis detection


Finally people will be able to check for HIV and syphilis just in 15 minutes. A group of enthusiastic researchers working in The Columbia University have invented a user friendly and affordable device that can easily be connected to a smart phone. This device is wonderfully capable of detecting syphilis and HIV in human beings. The process of detection is very easy and it can be done within 15 minutes or even less. The researching team was working in the leadership of Samuel K Sia who is working as an associate professor in that university in applied science department. While the testing process goes on, the instrument is kept attached with a smart phone so that it can draw all the required power for performing the test from the phone only. The device comes at an easily affordable cost of $34.

In east African country named as Rwanda, it was thought that, 200000 people were affected by HIV. So this test was done to find out the actual thing. So there, this device was used. It takes a little blood from the finger of the patient, and does enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay without need of any stored energy. It does a test called a triplexed immunoassay which at the current time is not present in a single format of the test. The test is done in three formats i.e.

  • Antibody of HIV.
  • Antibody of treponemal for the disease syphilis.
  • Antibody of non-treponemal for active infection of syphilis.

This tool can easily be connected to a smartphone’s audio jack, and gets paired with cassettes of preloaded reagents which are chemical in nature, with the phone. It fills the chambers of the cassette with the samples of blood. To supply power to the device and to transmit data the audio jack of the phone is used. A term “sensitivity” is defined as the measurement of those patients who are identified correctly. And another term called “specificity” is explained as the measurement of the device’s correctness in finding out the people who were uninfected. So in accordance with a journal published in the “journal Science Translational Medicine”, the tool found that the sensitivity is 92% and the specificity is 79% for HIV and for syphilis it was 70% sensitive and 80% specific.

Professor Sia said that they proved that such a big and mind numbing process of immunoassay can be done with an accessory of a smartphone which in fact provides a high quality work generally done in laboratories.

The tool is like a dongle which is very small in size and very light in weight. Its size is that of our one hand only. This needs very less power and can be used in placed deprived of electricity.

Wrap up:

Finally it has become very easy, affordable and time and power saving to diagnose HIV and syphilis in any number of people by a device which resembles to that of a dongle. The process takes less than 15 minutes. HIV and syphilis are sexually transmitted diseases which can cause a great harm to the people suffering from it, if they are not detected and treated immediately. Ultimately it can even lead to death. Many poor people were unable to have proper diagnosis and disease treatment because it was of very high cost but thanks to the wonderful researchers who developed this god like tool which gives lab quality output and gives proper result in less time economically.

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