Harvard researchers developed a simple detector based on electrochemistry that can be used to check diabetes, detect malaria, and perform other tests on patients in the world’s poorest regions. The device cost approximately $25 to manufacture compared to equipment in Western labs that cost more than $50,000.
The device design is similar to a glucose monitoring device but has the capability to transfer data from low-tech cellphones to physicians in another location. The device uses electrochemistry to measure the voltage or current generated in blood for specific characteristics associated with diabetes, malaria, and other health conditions. To be able to send the medical data over low-tech cells phones, the researchers developed software to convert the data to audible tones to send to physicians or health organizations.