The new fad in the tech industry is health. You can see this with Apple’s Health app, as well as a seemingly endless ecosystem of activity trackers like the FitBit or Nike Fuel band. But for all their focus on health, they’re really only scratching the surface; if you’re actually sick, they won’t do much to tell you what’s wrong. For serious illnesses, you still have to make your way to a doctor and often subject yourself to blood extractions. But if the xHEALTH X1 takes off, you may not even need to do that.
It’s a device being developed by Dr. Eugene Chan and his colleagues at the DNA Medical Institute (DMI), with grants from “NASA, the National Institutes of Health, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On Monday, the team received yet another nod (and more funding) as the winners of this year’s Nokia Sensing XChallenge, one of several competitions run by the moonshot-seeking XPrize Foundation.” With a single drop of blood it would be able to tell you if you have anything from HIV, to Pneumonia, or even Ebola within minutes.
One small drop of blood is dropped into a small receptacle, where nanostrips and reagents react to the blood’s contents. The whole cocktail then goes through a spiral micro-mixer and is streamed past lasers that use variations in light intensity and scattering to come up with a diagnosis,
The xHEALTH X1 is still under development, so it’s not quite ready for public consumtion just yet. There is no timeframe on that, but the work being done is well under way and should result in a viable product in the near future.
[ Wired ]