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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

New smartphone device gives 15-minutes results for STD tests

<p>Pictured is one of the smartphone dongles that can test for HIV and syphilis. Funded by the Saving Lives at Birth program through the U.S. Agency for International Development, the device costs $34 to make, plus $2 for each test cassette.</p>

Pictured is one of the smartphone dongles that can test for HIV and syphilis. Funded by the Saving Lives at Birth program through the U.S. Agency for International Development, the device costs $34 to make, plus $2 for each test cassette.

A new device for smartphones boasts the ability to test for HIV and syphilis with results in just 15 minutes.

The device connects to a user’s phone through the audio jack and works through a user interface to determine the results of the test, Tassaneewan Laksanasopin, the lead author of the study on the device, wrote in an email.

A video posted to the Sia Lab YouTube account shows how the device works. To start, anyone using the device will need to disinfect and prick his or her finger to get a blood sample for the test. That blood sample is then inserted into a disposable plastic container that attaches to a microfluidic cassette that then attaches to the smartphone.

The device acts as the hardware for fluid control, optical measurement and data communication to the smartphone, Laksanasopin said.

Currently, there is an app for only the iPhone operating system, but there is another in the works for Android operating systems, she said. The cost to make the device is $34 plus about $2 for each test cassette.

“Our device is low-cost, portable and simple to use which can take to any rural areas in developing countries where access to healthcare is limited,” said Laksanasopin, a Columbia University Ph.D. student.

She said the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases can help prevent mother-to-child transmission and minimize any complications in pregnant women.

Since 2007, Sia Lab has been working on point-of-care tests for HIV and syphilis.

The device took about a year to get a working prototype to test in Rwanda, she said. The study was funded by the Saving Lives at Birth program through the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The device is not yet intended for consumer use. But in Gainesville, testing options are available to students through the Student Health Care Center. Students who aren’t showing symptoms can go to the Student Health Care Center for free STD testing with the Get Yourself Tested clinic, a partnership between the SHCC and the Alachua County Health Department.

[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 2/17/2015 under the headline “New smartphone device gives 15-minutes results for STD tests"]

Pictured is one of the smartphone dongles that can test for HIV and syphilis. Funded by the Saving Lives at Birth program through the U.S. Agency for International Development, the device costs $34 to make, plus $2 for each test cassette.

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