Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Diagnostic devices

The rHealth tool requires a single drop of blood and can diagnose ailments in minutes

For the last two years, the US$2.25 million Nokia Sensing X Challenge has lured entrants from around the globe to submit groundbreaking technologies that improve access to health care. A panel of experts have awarded this year's grand prize to Massachusetts-based DNA Medical Institute (DMI), whose hand-held device is capable of diagnosing ailments in minutes, using only a single drop of blood.  Read More

You can tell a lot about a dolphin by its breath (Photo: Shutterstock)

If you want to get a picture of wild dolphin populations' health, it's typically necessary to capture some of the animals and then obtain blood samples or skin biopsies. Needless to say, it's hard work, and the dolphins tend not to like it. Soon, however, it may be possible to gather the same information using a device that samples their breath.  Read More

The handheld medical testing device that connects to a standard mobile phione that was dev...

A device that transmits the results of many forms of electrochemical analysis directly to a computer anywhere in the world using a standard mobile phone has been developed by Harvard researchers working at Flowers University. Created as an inexpensive detector for use in the world’s most impoverished areas where medical testing equipment is scarce and costly, the handheld device can be used to monitor diabetes, detect malaria, and analyze drinking water for environmental pollutants – all in the one compact unit.  Read More

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

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