High-tech kit for medical testing trials in India

Washington: A compact, inexpensive handheld device that monitors diabetes, detects malaria and environmental pollutants is being trialed in India by Harvard scientists. The device costs about $25, weighs just two ou-nces, and is about the size of a pack of cigarettes.

It was modelled after the inexpensive glucose monitoring devices, which are in widely used. The new device can also send data over the low-tech cellphones to distant physicians, who can text back instructions to researchers, government officials tracking outbreaks and others.

“We designed it to be as close as possible to a glucose meter, because that’s familiar to people,” said Harvard University researcher Alex Nemiroski, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Flowers University and lead author of the paper.

“There are two buttons. Select the test and press ‘go’. It should be as much of a no-brainer as possible,” he added Mr Nemiroski recently sent off five units to be field tested in India, and is already working on the next generation of the device, which will have more features and be able to conduct more tests.

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