What kind of at-home test is this?
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new blood-clotting test that uses only a single drop of blood and a smartphone vibration motor and camera. The system includes a plastic attachment that holds a tiny cup beneath the phone’s camera
How is this blood clot test different?
“Back in the day, doctors used to manually rock tubes of blood back and forth to monitor how long it took a clot to form. This, however, requires a lot of blood, making it infeasible to use in home settings,” said senior author Shyam Gollakota, UW professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “The creative leap we make here is that we’re showing that by using the vibration motor on a smartphone, our algorithms can do the same thing, except with a single drop of blood. And we get accuracy similar to the best commercially available techniques.”
Who does this at-home blood test help?
Patients who can monitor their PT/INR levels from home would only need to go to see a clinician if the test suggested they were outside of that desirable range, Dr. Kelly Michaelsen said.
Doctors can rank blood-clotting ability using two numbers:
- the time it takes for the clot to form, what’s known as the “prothrombin time” or PT
- a ratio calculated from the PT that allows doctors to more easily compare results between different tests or laboratories, called the “international normalized ratio” or INR
“Most people taking this medication are taking it for life. But this is not a set-and-forget type of thing — in the U.S., most people are only in what we call the ‘desirable range’ of PT/INR levels about 64% of the time,” said co-author Dr. Kelly Michaelsen, assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine in the UW School of Medicine. “This number is even lower — only about 40% of the time — in countries such as India or Uganda where there is less frequent testing. How can we make this better? We need to make it easier for people to test more frequently and take ownership of their health care.
Where can I buy this at-home blood test?
This device is still in a proof-of-concept stage. The researchers have publicly released the code and are exploring commercialization opportunities as well as further testing. For example, currently all these tests have been done in the lab. The next step is to work with patients to test this system at home. The researchers also want to see how the system fares in more resource-limited areas and countries.
Any visual aides to explain this test method?
Here take my money! I need this now!! Who do I contact?
For more information, contact [email protected].