Can a $1 chip diagnosis HIV in 15 minutes?
Apparently so. According to this post on fast company, researchers at Columbia University have created a $1 plastic chip that can detect both HIV and syphilis in 15 minutes. That is pretty impressive and a much needed innovation for use in the developing world. In the US, results can be had in a matter of hours or days, but in the developing world, those same results could take weeks to receive.
The “mChip”, a credit-card-sized piece of plastic that is produced using a plastic injection molding process, tests for multiple diseases with just one pinprick of blood. There are no moving parts, and the microfluidics-based chip can be analyzed with help from a cheap optical sensor.
Creating better detection processes is great, but that diagnosis still needs to be acted upon. You still have to be able to obtain the necessary medications and take them for the entire system to be effective. So, while this is new chip does not fix everything, it is definitely a step in the right direction, bringing down the cost and time to obtain results.
Here’s opening this innovation can find a company willing to mass produce it and get it to those that need it quickly.