Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Soon will we be taking a daily blood test with our vitamins?

Years ago I read an article in Forbes about new technology which would make available a cheap home device to allow daily blood tests. The device would runs dozens, or maybe hundreds, of tests from a single drop of blood. The blood would be routed through a silicon chip. Because the tests would be in the silicon chip, the production costs could be as low as a nickel.

Catching a disease early greatly improves the chances of a positive outcome. A blood test lab on a chip, for a nickel, would allow people to do a blood test each day. This would greatly improve our health.

It was exciting to read this week that the technology is coming closer to reality. Technology Review reports on the Ten-Minute Blood Test:

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Measuring proteins in the blood can help doctors determine patients' cancer risk and monitor the health of the elderly and people with chronic diseases. But current methods for testing these proteins are too expensive and require too much blood to be performed regularly. A microfluidic chip in clinical trials does on a single chip in 10 minutes what normally takes multiple technicians hours to do--and with just a single drop of blood. Researchers hope to make bedside diagnostics based on blood proteins a reality by bringing down the cost of such tests by at least an order of magnitude
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As a diabetic Janine does blood tests every couple hours. When one of these blood test chips becomes available I'll join her at least once a day for a blood test. Maybe I'll do it as I take my morning vitamins.


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Technorati tags: blood, test, chip

2 comments:

Barbara Frank said...

Sounds like a great idea, as long as we don't have to report those test results anywhere.....like to a representative of a nationalized health care service, ugh.

Henry Cate said...

I totally agree.