Nanobiosym, an American company based out of Boston, has created an exciting new solution to accessible and expedited HIV/AIDS testing. Gene-Radar, a mobile device, can deliver HIV/AIDS test results in as little as one hour, at a fraction of conventional costs. CEO Anita Goel says, “What we’ve done at Gene-Radar is take that test that costs $200 and takes two weeks and make it accessible. So we’ve brought it almost 50 to 100 times cheaper.”
The article explains the vast potential of such a technology. There are various types of HIV/AIDS tests but the conventional testing, known as the ‘Gold Standard Test,’ can take up to six months to deliver results in many developing countries. This ‘Gold Standard Test,’ commonly used in Rwanda and many East African nations, represents a barrier to accessible, accurate, and timely health care to many. Even in the United States, the article explains, the ‘Gold Standard Test’ requires at least two weeks for results. With these conventional timeframes in mind, it is clear that a one-hour test would revolutionize how both doctors and patients approach HIV testing and awareness. Furthermore, the mobile nature of Gene-Radar significantly decreases the accessibility problems which many face in trying to arrange and acquire transportation to and from major health care centers. According to Goel, this device is currently undergoing modification to include other disease tests, such as those for E. coli and malaria.
Beyond the testing itself, one innovative feature boasted by the Gene-Radar is the ability to upload these test results onto a community cloud. In other words, all test data would be available for statistical and epidemiological analysis. Such a forum would allow specialists to trace the source and scope of disease outbreaks, as well as propose solutions for containment.
Personally, I am very excited to see this device approved and utilized across the world. HIV/AIDS is a significant health and social problem found on a global scale, and an affordable, fast testing technology would seemingly reduce its spread. As long as patient confidentiality is respected, I am also encouraged by the cloud concept, as it would allow scientists to collaboratively analyze both isolated and patterned outbreaks.
Read the article here.