The healthcare sector is moving from reactive care to preventive care. Preventive care helps the patient take necessary precautions to avoid certain conditions and also helps them in identifying the root of a disease before it becomes serious. Additionally, the cost of preventive care is much less than that of reactive care. Diagnostics is a major part of preventive care. All the conventional treatment methods mostly follow the trial and error method, where the illness is guessed based on the symptoms the patient shows. It is necessary to move ahead from this method to personalized care to improve the outcomes of healthcare. Optimum diagnosis is the first step towards this. The diagnostics industry is witnessing immense transformation and there are various new developments that are helping it move towards personalized care. Let’s look at the recent devices transforming diagnostics.
- Better Detection of Ebola Virus with a Microfluid Device
Ebola is a highly contagious and deadly virus and once infected, it leaves limited treatment options for the patient. Moreover, it can spread easily and start an epidemic. To combat the dangers it brings to the human lives, scientists at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) have developed the prototype of a novel micro device. This device helps diagnose the infection caused by Ebola early, which results in better treatment outcomes as well as reduces the spread of infections.
The developed microfluid device has biosensors attached to it. It is a small, automated chip that has fluorescence sensors attached to it. The device detects the Ebola RNA when the patient’s sample is added to it by activating the CRISPR mechanism. The researchers are further trying to find a way to generate this device at affordable costs.
- KidneyIntelX- A Breakthrough Device
KidneyIntelX is the main diagnostic test for kidney diseases devised by Renalytix AI plc. It exhibits promise to improve the clinical management of patients with fast-growing kidney diseases and type-2 diabetes. It helps in better diagnosis and well as treatment of these. KidneyIntelX uses machine learning algorithms to examine the combination of predictive blood-based biomarkers. These include sTNFR1, sTNFR2, and KIM1 along with the electronic health record data. The device is designed to identify the progressive kidney disease. It was designated as a Breakthrough Device by FDA.
- Q-POC – A Revolutionary Diagnostics Kit
Q-POC is a portable molecular diagnostics kit invented by QuantuMDx. It has the ability to text a patient’s samples at the point-of-care (POC) and provides the results in around 30 minutes. Its ease of operation eliminates the need of experts, like the ones in diagnostic labs, to perform the analysis.
The device works on a battery and a clinician or a simple pharmacist can operate it. All they need to do is load the saliva, blood, or urine samples in the cassettes and place this in the Q-POC. The device is affordable, time-saving, and allows multiplexing.
- A Remarkable DNA Sequencing Device- MinION
MinION, a new DNA sequencing device by Oxford Nanopore, can detect the Huntington’s disease a lot faster than the traditional ways. It could therefore drastically reduce the waiting time for number of critical cases of Huntington’s disease, as well as other genetic disorders in the future. Moreover, it meets the strict international quality standards for laboratory use.
MinION is a small device which decodes every DNA strand separately in real-time. This hand-held device can then identify the changes in any DNA sequence to detect the genetic disorder. Being able to do all of this in real-time, the device cuts down the wait time for the results.
- Mass Spec- Promise of a Better Tomorrow
Mass spectrometry is a very efficient diagnosis method with high specificity. It is gaining popularity in laboratory medicine rapidly. Clinical laboratories, globally, are using various different types of mass spectrometers and they have seen significantly improved outcomes. It is disrupting molecular diagnostics incredibly.
There are many new developments in mass spectrometry and the recent advancements have increased opportunities to gain insights on protein levels in biological fluids, more systematically and effectively. The latest developments in this field can reduce the time needed to discover, validate, verify, and adopt biomarkers for the clinical use.
The medical diagnostics industry is advancing at a fast-paced. The new innovations come with a promise to enhance the accuracy of detecting diseases in a human body in real-time. Moreover, the ease of use, simplicity in manufacturing as well as the affordability of the latest devices is improved.