If you live in a city, you likely take accessibility to healthcare for granted. However, remote areas are deeply underserved, and the lack of resources puts citizens at risk. A recent IEEE Spectrum article discussed a new transportable system that intends to level the playing field by making blood testing more convenient in rural parts of the world. The new design, developed by Indian researchers, is simple, affordable, and can be used anywhere electricity is available.
The majority of laboratory testing devices monitor the amount of light that passes through blood to determine levels of blood cells or glucose. The new device is similar; it has an automated fluid dispenser that adds a specific amount of reagent to the blood sample. Light is then shined through the sample, and a Raspberry Pi computer analyzes any biochemical substances by modifying the reagent and spectral wavelength that’s used, yielding accurate results in about 30 seconds.