USB key said to diagnose HIV in just 30 minutes


Doctors are getting new tools to help test for HIV. The latest is a new test that lives on a USB key. Yep, that little dongle that you tote to and from work with your documents may soon be used to help save lives.

According to EurekAlert, the key was built by researchers at the Imperial College in London in tandem with a firm named DNA Electronics. A doctor could potentially take blood from a patient, drop a small amount on a sensor on the USB key, and then insert it into a computer. The machine can then read the blood off of the USB key and determine whether or not the patient is HIV positive.

You might shrug this off, but EurekAlert notes that this could be big news for people in remote places, especially in Africa, where labs for testing for HIV might not be around for hundreds of miles. No longer might a scientist need to send off blood samples to make a diagnosis, a single laptop can return results in just 30 minutes. Modern tests take upwards of 3 days, EurekAlert explained.

Theranos once promised something similar…

We don’t know when this might make it to market if ever. It’ll certainly need to go through all sorts of testing to confirm accuracy first. And following the fall of Theranos, we all know that sometimes when it sounds too good to be true, it may very well be.

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