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Diagnostic devices

Smartphones with simple lens attachments might soon be able to analyze fluid samples (Phot...

We've recently seen a number of projects aimed at creating Star Trek-like medical tricorders, that take the form of stand-alone electronic devices built specifically for the purpose. Now, however, scientists at the University of Houston are taking an approach that's currently popular in many other areas of product design – they've asked, "Why build a whole new device, if a smartphone can provide the electronics?". The result is a proposed phone lens attachment, that could be used to diagnose diseases in real time.  Read More

The Foldscope is made mostly of cardstock, and can be shipped flat-packed

According to the World Health Organization, there were approximately 207 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2012, 627,000 of which proved fatal. Unfortunately, the disease most often occurs in developing nations, where diagnostic equipment may not be available. This means that doctors can't determine the particular strain of malaria from which a patient is suffering, and thus don't know which medication will work best. Manu Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the Stanford School of Medicine, hopes to change that ... using his disposable folding paper microscope.  Read More

Scientists have successfully used accelerometers to determine whether or not a person is s...

Among the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's, one of the most prominent is a change in the "temporal structure of activities" – in other words, the amount of time that it takes the patient to do things. With that in mind, German scientists have developed a new early detection method that involves attaching accelerometers to patients, in order to assess their movements.  Read More

The new fluid-repellent paper was developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have produced a new kind of paper that repels a range of liquids, including water and oil. The new paper shows significant promise as an affordable and recyclable packaging material, but it's the paper’s potential as an inexpensive biomedical diagnostic tool that has really got the researchers excited.  Read More

Anopheles mosquito after taking a snack (Photo: US Center for Disease Control and Preventi...

A small company in the U.K. is developing an affordable, hand-held device that will not only diagnose malaria in the field, but will also read DNA markers that suggest which antimalarial drugs will be most effective for treatment. If fielded, such a device could help alleviate the 200+ million cases of malaria per year, as well as prevent some of the nearly one million deaths associated with malarial illness.  Read More

VTT researchers will spend the next five years carrying out the test at memory clinics in ...

Scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland have developed new software called PredictAD that could significantly boost the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.  Read More

The Scanadu SCOUT is a palm-sized device that reads a variety of vital signs when held to ...

Using online medical resources to diagnose our various aches and pains is just as likely to send someone rushing to the doctor in the belief they have some incurable, life-threatening disease as it is to put any fears to rest. Medical startup Scanadu, which is based at the NASA-Ames Research Center, is set to provide a set of home diagnostic tools that are designed to let users monitor their health over time and provide a better indication of whether a trip to the doc is actually necessary.  Read More

The MicroFlow is a toaster-sized flow cytometer for medical diagnosis that will be tested ...

While still impressive, the capabilities of early "tricorders," such as the Scanadu and Dr Jansen's tricorder, fall well short of the Star Trek device that inspired them. But new technology to be tested on the International Space Station (ISS) brings the age of instant diagnosis of medical conditions using a portable device a step closer. The Microflow could also make its way into doctor’s offices here on Earth where it might help cut down on the number of follow up visits required after waiting to get results back from the lab.  Read More

A drop of liquid sits on the textured silicon surface that has arced rungs to guide the dr...

Lately we’re hearing more and more about tiny medical and environmental diagnostic devices, that can perform a variety of tests using very small fluid samples. Working with such small samples does present a challenge, however – how do you thoroughly mix tiny amounts of different fluids, or wrangle individual drops for analysis? According to a team of scientists from the University of Washington, the answer lies in the lotus leaf.  Read More

Dr Peter Jansen has so far created two prototype Science Tricorders featuring an array of ...

If Star Trek has taught us anything, it's the importance of gathering as much information about the alien planet you've just been beamed onto as quickly as possible. To that end, the Science Officer on the away team would perform a quick scan of the surroundings with a handheld, multifunctional sensing device called a Tricorder. Fortunately, we now live in an age where the science fiction of yesteryear is increasingly becoming the science fact of today, and the once futuristic Tricorder is no exception. For his Tricorder Project, Canada's Dr Peter Jansen has designed and built some pocket-friendly devices housing a number of sensors which reveal the secrets of the unseen world around us.  Read More

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