For The “Apple” of Your Eye: HIV & Syphilis Testing Coming To Your iPhone
Are you two the apple and sunshine of one another’s eye that yous always want to be around?
Come pass this test.
There’s more to iPhone than meets the eye.
Before you whip it out, soon, you and your prospective honey can whip out that iPhone and lay it all on the line by testing one another to see if thee are truly the apples of one another’s eye (or no).
Researchers at Columbia University took the mechanics of a standard Syphilis and HIV lab test and reduced it to the size of a wallet which attaches to a smartphone and can provide you and your honey accurate results within 15 minutes!
Technology is stepping its game up from only being able to read our heart rates when we exercise and such and the time it takes to get penciled in to visit health care professionals.
The inventor and associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia, Samuel Sia, states “If you can start to bring core health services to the smartphone beyond just measuring the heart rate — like blood tests — then you’re going to start seeing a pretty fundamental shift in the health-care system.”
According to Columbia, the prick and test is similar to that of simple diabetic materials that diabetics use to test themselves at home.
What you do is attach the dongle to the headphone jack of the smartphone (iPhone or iPod touch) and then take a small blood sample (a finger prick will do).
After that, you insert the sample into a disposable plastic specimen collector. From there, you connect the plastic specimen collector in a microfluidic chip (which analyzes the sample).
Then from there, you insert the chip with the blood sample into the dongle.
Open the app.
Wait 15 minutes.
How Are These Results Different from Standard Lab Tests
That’s just it, they are very similar to standard lab tests for HIV and Syphilis but produces results more quickly in the small study.
Instead of using enzymes and substrates typical used in a lab with testing, the device uses gold and silver nanoparticles to isolate (positive) anti-bodies of the diseases.
Sia asserts: “The cost, size and power … those three things, we just reduced it by orders of magnitude from what we did before. It replicates all the things that a lab-based robot would do. We’re actually not really developing a totally new way of doing things, but instead we’re just replicating what lab-based instruments do, step by step,” he added.
According to Columbia’s Samuel Sia, this smaller scale technology testing (via nanoparticles versus enzymes and substrates) was something they have been working on for about 10 years before the iPhone even existed. “It replicated all the things that a lab-based robot would do,” said Sia.
The study was partly funded by the United States Agency for International Development focusing on sexually transmitted diseases from mother to child. The dual test (for both Syphilis and HIV) enabled health care workers to test pregnant women for the two main diseases that had the most potential of being transmitted from mother to child.
Researchers conducted a small field device study with the Rwandan Ministry of Health. More than 90 percent of the 96 patients reported that they preferred it by comparison to other tests and would recommend it.
Is This Test Private-Between Me and My Partner?
As per Sabin Nsanzimana-head of the HIV, STI and Other Blood Borne Infectious Divisions of the Rwandan Ministry of Health, he says the device is a critical asset to public health officials stating, “Early and faster diagnosis further reduces the morbidity and mortality due to HIV and STIs. Technology and health must go together. This is a good example of that concept.”
Additionally, the device can be used as a back-up test to lighten the load of overburdened clinics or labs where the waiting on the results run from longer to impossible.
In addition to the importance of its use, the convenience and the benefits, the technology is also cheap to manufacture-even by comparison to other (non sexually transmitted disease) mobile tests on the market today.
According to Sia, the dongle costs only about $34.00 to produce. The plastic card used to collect the blood specimen only costs about $1.44 to produce.
Although the price of the device has not yet been revealed, considering the cost to manufacture and produce it, it shouldn’t set you back too much.
Sia’s microfluidics chips (the plastic cards used to collect blood samples for mobile diseases/conditions testing) have already been beneficial for mobile testing of other diseases like prostate cancer.
“No options are taken off the table, you are actually increasing access. I think if we can make the cards smaller, for instance, that would help. I would list that as one of the issues, especially for global health,” said Sia.
How’s that for more reasons to really “love” your iPhone and …love your lover?
My Word Worth a Billion Buck and a Thousand Pictures
In all seriousness (about this serious thing).
This is really BIG.
We’re talking about a tool that will probably be less than $75 and purchasable from any electronics store and too, that’s compatible with a device that 60% of the world already owns! So like, if you are an Android user, chances are, your partner has an iPhone.
So…with going half on a baby-before all that even begins-what excuse could you give for not wanting to go half on purchasing the kit while standing there and waiting 30 minutes on getting answers [for the both of yous]?
That’s big. And a medical game-changer and too, a game changer in the game of love!
In the interest of full disclosure (or truth and consequences) this app and device is going to either cause a lot of problems, or open up doors for necessary communication while forcing people in committed relationships (who elect to have unprotected sex for whatever reasons) to put their honey (their love/lover) where their mouth is–an extra incentive to remain true and committed.
Such is Life:
…all four of those things govern circumstance and/or situations in all of life.
When money (the cost of something) is not an option [and/therefore] you still have options, you are afforded access. With afforded access, you automatically have control of [your time] or merely the time to tend to any particular person or thing. That’s just a life rule regarding anything.
So in the nature of something like such-compatible with a device by which we all have access to, and that too [the device], is affordable and takes only 15 mins for an answer…I’d say, this thing is groundbreaking and eliminates all excuses.
This is big (and necessary actually). It’s like a flip side of the equivalent of finding a cure for HIV in the form of inventing a cure for infidelity. somewhat
It (this device) is a form of social /interpersonal control that sits right in the middle of:
- the cure for HIV still not being found
- a precautionary measure/the cure for having being found with (or not having it-within a relationship).
That too, is a great incentive for monogamy [as should be the fact that still] there’s no available cure for HIV.
In short, if the fact that there’s no cure for it isn’t enough to make a person consider monagamy, a device like such (that can be bought for such a low price and used at whim) is all the incentive to make the decision to BE monogamous and serious about our relationships.
Once this device hits the market-there are no more excuses (or mystery).
There is no more comfortability and carrying on not knowing (because of the obstacles and time it takes to test, wait, and then know).
In a due amount of time (once this things hits the market) shortly, couples can just pull out that iPhone and head over to Radio Shack or Target and know in 15 minutes.
This thing is a condom using enforcer. Or a monogamy enforcer. Take your pick.
What say you?
Artist atop the OSF big screen: Stevie Wonder