According to Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD and Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, healthcare-associated infections affect 600,000 patients annually and cost about $100 billion each year. An article from Science News Journal states that current culture-based diagnosis can take days to be reported, but Polarization Anisotropy Diagnosis (PAD) could offer results in less than two hours without all the expensive equipment.
The device extracts bacterial RNA using a disposable cartridge that is then transferred to a plastic cube specific RNA is detected. The cube employs probes that measure responses to light and sends the data to a computer or smartphone. As of May, the team at Massachusetts General Hospital has developed probes that are able to diagnose 35 bacterial species at just $2 a test.