Imagine you are plagued by a few common symptoms of the flu, but are unable to discern the underlying infection. Instead of heading to the hospital, waiting in queues, and subjecting yourself to a myriad of diagnostic tests, all you have to do is put a drop of blood on a small handheld device. This device processes all the details it can gather from the blood sample, runs numerous tests on-the-spot and correctly diagnoses the underlying infection with speed. This is the future of diagnostic medicine.
Despite the advancements in technology that tracks vital statistics, the alternate solutions for determining the cause of a health issue are less in number. This is why the invention of palm-sized devices like rHEALTH, which just need a drop of blood to run hundreds of tests on-the-spot, is the next step for diagnostic medicine. rHEALTH uses microfluidic technology that utilizes diagnostic nanostrips mixed into the drop of blood, to allow for a laser to check the cell count, and measure biomarkers like electrolytes and proteins. This gives users an efficient method of dealing with health problems, also allowing them to take effective and timely action in case the diagnosis indicates a serious problem.
Today, a lot of time and resources are spent on visiting the hospital and taking a variety of tests for discerning an ailment. Sometimes, certain tests are not even conducted as a large part of diagnostic medicine depends on the doctor's understanding of the various symptoms. In some cases, patients keep taking diagnostic tests until the problem is unearthed. Time-saving technology, such as rHEALTH, can make healthcare more efficient and accurate.
In addition to rHEALTH, other such developments include a portable device that correctly determines the genetic signature of a pathogen. Such a device will identify the correct pathogen causing the symptoms, which in turn will help with speedy treatment. It uses nanotechnology and biotechnology to make its diagnosis, and is aimed at being affordable. Another device developed uses magnetic-resistive spin valves that detect biomolecules. This helps in diagnoses for individual patients, as it is paired with a mobile device.
Advancements in technology have created devices that regulate sleep cycles and track respiration to connect to smartphones that in turn connect to the cloud. This helps doctors keep a track of diagnostic information in real time. It also alerts users to drastic changes in their own sleeping patterns so as to take immediate action for any issues.
More research is being conducted on portable devices that can diagnose and track symptoms, and even connect with smartphones to upload the details onto cloud servers. Such solutions improve the effectiveness of health care, and helps people be in control of their own health issues. Future diagnostic devices can go a long way in ensuring that less time is wasted in determining the causes of an underlying problem, and more time is spent on treatment and care.
What are your thoughts on the various advantages of such diagnostic technology? Please share your comments in the section below.