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Aiming for Quick, Cheap Diagnosis

QuantuMDx says its low-cost, handheld device will be able to quickly diagnose patients in regions with limited resources, the Guardian reports.

The device, called Q-Poc, is about the size of a smartphone and can run either on a solar panel or through a windup device, the Guardian says. Samples are inputted into the device through a cartridge for DNA analysis, and that analysis relies on microfluidic channels. The device also includes cellular technology so that test results and be geo-stamped and shared right away.

It's currently in alpha testing, the Guardian adds, and is currently focusing on diagnosing tuberculosis with other tests such as for STDs and cancer coming online down the road.

"We're now at the point that we have a working prototype that can perform a highly sensitive tuberculosis test from a sample through to results in 15 to 20 minutes," Jonathan O'Halloran, the company's co-founder, says. "The technology is now being ramped up to beta stage and we hope to start manufacturing towards the end of this year."

The company estimates that a test run on Q-Poc will cost about $4.30. The Guardian adds that QuantuMDx has partnered with the Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation, and hopes to first roll out the test in South Africa before expanding into the rest of Africa.