Looking like a piece of jewelry from a Steampunk convention, a new wrist sensor is coming out of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey that can measure the cell count of your blood.
Researchers developed the wearable, which was made by wrapping a wide piece of circuit board around the wrist and studding the surface with gold electrodes instead of jewels. The entire wristband works to get information to doctors via Bluetooth through an Android application on a smartphone. Anyone interested in donning this wired cuff should be aware, however, that they need to play a role in collecting their own data.
Wearers have to actively prick their own skin to draw blood and then put the sample into micro chambers on the device. Ultimately, though, researchers say they imagine automating that process by "fabricating minimally invasive microneedle or catheter-based impedance sensors" which could then "continuously sample venous blood using a wearable cytometry platform for readout."
While the initial research for the device from Rutgers University studied the number of blood cells in a single reading, researchers say the wearable could be tuned to read "a wide variety of biomarkers," they wrote in the "Microsystems & Nanoengineering" publication, which published their work.
Three Israeli startups aiming to revolutionize and democratize how blood tests are done.
RevDx by Engineering for All (EfA)
Engineering for All (EfA) is developing a handheld programmable device that performs automated blood analysis and diagnostics at the point-of-care. RevDx (Revolution Diagnostics) is meant for anyplace without reliable access to a lab, electricity or Internet connection, says founder Yoel Ezra, former chief commander of an IDF technological unit.
The digital platform — combining opto-mechanics, electrochemistry and bioengineering technologies — will initially be programmed to do a blood count and diagnose malaria, two major identified needs. Future applications could support additional blood and urine analyses.
“My vision is that in a few years our product will be an essential tool in every healthcare worker’s bag for home visits, emergencies, point-of-care, remote locations and more,” Ezra says.
Sonorapy is developing a technology to replace standard diagnostic blood tests with a noninvasive soundwave diagnostic tool to detect pathogens (viruses or bacteria) from a single blood sample.
“Our product is a one-of-a-kind sensor that sends very high-frequency soundwaves into an organism and listens to the acoustic sounds resonating back. Each pathogen is known to have a unique sound signature but there was never a machine capable of reading them,” explains cofounder Noemie Alliel.
A unique algorithm will identify the pathogen using a massive database of harmonic resonance peaks for each disease. In seconds, easy-to-read test results will be available at the point-of-care.
Sonorapy’s device theoretically could even scan the patient’s body rather than a blood sample, making the diagnostic process 100 percent noninvasive.
Sight Diagnostics of Tel Aviv recently launched OLO, an AI-based blood diagnostics device that does lab-quality complete blood count (CBC) tests from finger prick samples at the point-of-care.
Sight’s patented process for “digitizing” the blood sample into a set of specifically colored microscope images begins with placing the sample on a pocket-sized test cartridge and inserting it into the system. OLO then applies proprietary machine-vision algorithms to these images to analyze 19 CBC parameters. Results are delivered in just 10 minutes.
“The technology to provide full-spectrum analysis with only a finger prick of blood is seen by many as a holy grail in this space, and it’s no secret that others have tried,” said CEO Yossi Pollak, who cofounded Sight Diagnostics in 2010. “After implementing our malaria-detection technology in India and several African countries and exceeding expectations in multiple clinical trials, we were encouraged to explore our technology’s ability to enter the $50 billion market of CBC testing.”
A California company, Hound Labs, has developed what they call the “world’s first marijuana and alcohol breathalyzer.” The device is much like the typical breathalyzer currently being used by police officers across the country, except that it detects both alcohol and THC levels. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana.
As a breathalyzer, the device can collect samples without having to collect urine, oral fluid, and blood. It is quick, as it releases results in just minutes, and can determine marijuana use in the last two hours. It also automatically collects two samples for testing: the first sample for immediate processing, and a second sample for processing later on.
The current tests in the market often require blood or urine and may take days to process. They also do not really determine whether the marijuana was smoked hours or days before, which is quite problematic since THC tends to stay in the system for up to a month after use.