On 29 July 2015, researchers presented findings of a first-of-its-kind highly-accurate smartphone test for chlamydia at the 2015 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo. These findings could significantly reduce the prevalence of this sexually transmitted disease by making screening easier and cheaper.
This infection often causes no symptoms so most people with chlamydia are not even aware of it. But if untreated, it can develop into a pelvic inflammatory disease and irreversibly damage a woman’s reproductive system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report pelvic inflammatory disease affects up to 30% of women with chlamydia, and can cause infertility; debilitating, chronic pelvic pain; and life-threatening ectopic pregnancies.
Hospitals currently are able to provide a highly sensitive method of screening known as Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAAT). But this method is too complex to perform in point-of-care settings, like doctor’s office, health fairs, school clinics, or other outreach venues, and they are very expensive tests (as healthcare providers will attest).
This first low-cost NAAT platform for diagnosing chlamydia is a micro data processing lab the size of a coffee mug. It was designed by a team of researchers led by Jeff Tza-Huei Wang, PhD, from the Johns Hopkins University BioMEMSLab, Baltimore, Maryland. The MobiLab, as it’s known, is a battery-powered device that works by using a microfluidics cartridge to detect the DNA of chlamydia bacteria in genital swab samples. This DNA analysis unit is connected with a smartphone which enables the user to control the platform and process test data with an app.
Read Article (Staff | prnewswire.com | 07/29/2015)
Unfortunately, Pew Research reports that 38% of smartphone users are not tech-savvy enough on their device to take advantage of online healthcare.
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