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Using the Cloud to Improve Access to HIV Testing

A blog post at Nature Medicine's Spoonful of Medicine blog this week describes a prototype of newly developed HIV test chip — a little bigger than a credit card — that analyzes blood samples in minutes and sends its results to doctors via the cloud, making it possible to diagnose HIV-infected people living in remote areas.

According to Spoonful of Medicine blog, the device, dubbed mChip, was developed by a team led by Samuel Sia, a biomedical engineer at New York's Columbia University.

The post says that the device collects blood from a finger prick, loads the sample onto a small fluidics chip that contains the antibodies and reagents needed to perform an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or ELISA. It returns results in just 15 minutes.

These results are then sent via cell phone networks and satellite connections to a database of medical records which doctors can access, the post states.

In a recent study, the team tested the device on serum, plasma, and blood samples from more than 200 HIV-infected individuals in Rwanda. More details are available in a paper published in Clinical Chemistry.