Smartphone Screens Can Now Perform Bloodtests
Qloudlab developed a new tool for people undergoing anticoagulant treatment.
Qloudlab, a startup based in the microengineering laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology or EPFL, has developed a diagnostic tool that uses a smartphone screen to perform blood tests.
The diagnostic tool was developed for people undergoing anticoagulant treatment. One of the effects of anticoagulants is to limit the formation of blood clots in arteries, veins, and the heart – clots that can block the blood vessels, hinder the flow of oxygen and increase the risk of a stroke or heart attack. Anticoagulant treatment requires patients to undergo regular blood flow monitoring, usually done at a clinic or hospital. Qloudlab’s diagnostic tool allows patients to do the tests themselves in their own home.
To perform the blood test, a single-use film made of a very thin microstructured plastic layer is placed on top of the smartphone screen. A drop of blood is introduced into the film through a capillary action and comes in contact with a molecule that initiates coagulation of the blood. An accompanying app analyzes the disruptions in the electric field of the screen and interprets the data to determine whether the owner of the blood is at risk of bleeding. The results of the blood test can then be sent to the person’s physician.
Qloudlab founder Arthur Queval said, “Such a test will significantly improve the quality of life for people undergoing this kind of treatment.”
Qloudlab is still working on making the test more accurate, but the startup claims it has found a way to make the test work on potentially every smartphone available.
The company filed a patent for the system and has already received funding from Venture Kick. Qloudlab is targeting to commercialize the diagnostic tool by 2015.