Unfortunately, we still face a world full of challenges in regards to healthcare. There are several countries where huge populations suffer from little-to-no infrastructure leading to tortured access to care and poor delivery. However, one can see many technology endeavours attempting to narrow the inequality between developed and developing countries.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, researchers at Columbia University have developed a chip that can analyze a drop of blood from a finger prick and when plugged into a smartphone test for HIV and syphilis in 15 minutes. The research team believe that this technology could be manufactured for at least $34. The smartphone accessory is small enough to fit in one’s hand and easily powered. This is especially suitable for places like Rwanda, where they already conducted a trial to test for HIV.
Jana Care, based in Newton - MA, in partnership with Continuum, an innovation and design consultancy company, developed another great example of technology trying to narrow the existing healthcare difference around the globe. It’s called Aina: a glucometer, that plugs into the headphone jack of a smartphone and checks blood glucose levels. It was initially developed for a certain socioeconomic lifestyle in India. However, since diabetes is a growing epidemic in emerging countries, the technology could be used in other parts of the world. Diabetes is an expensive and difficult disease to manage. So Jana Care “has created a program by which it offers disease management skills to patients through an interactive reality TV show, mobile app for diet and exercise tracking and support from diabetes educators.”
It’s exciting to see simple solutions tackling big global healthcare problems.