A user-friendly approach to decentralized healthcare
Detecting proteins and pathogens rapidly and at the point of care is a requisite for decentralizing medicine and personalizing treatments. This requires detection methods that do not utilize bulky instruments, which are only available in specialized laboratories. Such instruments are expensive and not portable, and can only be operated by trained personnel. Fortunately, there is a piece of technology that is already available worldwide and that is not only equipped with potent sensors but also perfectly suited for storing and sharing data: smartphones.
We are using smartphones as detectors by means of augmented reality apps that generate messages depending on the intensity or tonality of colorimetric signals. The detection only requires placing the camera of the phone on top of the assay, which is a simple procedure that can be performed by anyone and anywhere. Furthermore, the digitally augmented messages generated by different levels of biomarkers can be easily understood by anyone, which makes this approach ideal for decentralized analyses performed by non-specialists. Our technology enables sharing the results of the test via telecommunications, and is compatible with big data approaches for the stratification of patients.