Diagnosing HIV in 15 minutes and only for a $1

One of the most incredible parts of our technology world is where it meets up with the medical one and some of the incredible discoveries that seem to be happening everyday.

As much as we might complain about our healthcare systems the fact is that we have made some fantastic strides in ways to detect and treat diseases.

Much like this news from researchers at Columbia University who have discovered a way to quickly, 15 minutes quickly, diagnose HIV for a the cost of a single buck. Yes, just for a $1.00.

The diagnoses involves nothing more than a credit card size piece of plastic; that can be cheaply replicated using plastic injection molding as there are no moving parts involved, and an optical sensor. Called the mChip it will not only diagnose HIV, with a detection rate of 100%, but also syphilis, or HIV and syphilis together with only 4% to 6% false positive.

An mChip that diagnoses prostate cancer has already been approved for use in Europe. In the future, Columbia researcher Samuel K. Sia hopes to use the chip to test pregnant women in Rwanda for HIV and other STDs. Many of these women live too far away from labs to be diagnosed with traditional methods. “When you’re in these villages, you may have the drugs for many STDs, but you don’t know who to give treatments to, so the challenge really comes down to diagnostics,” Sia explained in a statement

via Fast Company

While the target use of the mChip is in places like Africa it also promises to be another great tool in any doctor’s arsenal to fight disease.