A team of researchers from Columbia University have developed a device that can be plugged into a smartphone and used to quickly test for HIV and syphilis.
The mobile device tests for three infectious-disease markers in just 15 minutes by using a finger-prick of blood, and draws all the power it needs from the smartphone, Science Daily reports.
The accessory costs an estimated $34 to make and is capable of replicating tests done in a laboratory using equipment that costs many thousands of dollars.
Samuel K. Sia, head researcher and associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia, described the smartphone accessory as “full laboratory quality.”
Because it can be easily used in remote and impoverished areas, like rural Africa, it is hoped the small but effective smartphone accessory will save millions of lives from sexually transmitted diseases.