Columbia University develops $34 phone accessory that can check for HIV

HIV checker

Science experienced a major breakthrough on Monday when a team of experts from Columbia University, United States Of America, unveiled a tiny device which could test for HIV and syphilis in a patient.

HIV checker
The $34 device, which is used by plugging it into the headphone jack of a smartphone, was ” nearly as effective as far more costly diagnostic blood testing equipment in identifying antibodies for HIV and syphilis in a pilot study in Africa,” reports say.

The team compared the results with standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or ELISA testing, and found the results were nearly as accurate. The test has a sensitivity of 92 to 100 percent, a measurement of how often the tests accurately identified the target antibodies, and it had a specificity of 79 to 100 percent, an indicator of how well the test did at ruling out people who were not infected.

“Our work shows that a full laboratory-quality immunoassay can be run on a smartphone accessory,” head of the team, Samuel Sia, an associate professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering commented.

The project is being backed by several donors such as billionaire PC mogul, Bill Gates alongside other funders.

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