It’s always good to see medical breakthroughs happen because even though we have such advanced technology at hand, we rarely are able to use it to its full purpose. QuantumMDx, a medical device maker, has revealed a DNA Analyzer which shows how technology can be beneficial in medical science. The DNA Analyzer can identify disease within minutes of getting into contact with material containing DNA.
A working prototype of a handheld DNA analyzer, dubbed Q-POC handheld laboratory, has been announced yesterday by the company, with the hope of the device ending up in as many health care provider facilities as possible so that it can be used for epidemic prevention and early disease detection. The DNA analyzer needs a drop of blood for analysis, and it can test that drop for disease like Ebola, HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and various STDs. Besides identifying disease markers, the DNA analyzer can also identify drug-resistant strains of the diseases.
The DNA analyzer takes about 10 to 20 minutes to come up with the results, which is significantly shorter than the time professional medical labs need to analyze DNA samples. The short time the DNA analyzer needs to identify certain disease coupled with the fact that it’s a handheld device makes for a revolutionary medical device. The DNA analyzer was made possible through crowd-funding and science officers of QuantumMDx say that it’s intended to help medical professionals provide accurate treatment and therapy and to identify fatal diseases in their early stages.
It can also help share the data various scientists, doctors and medical staff gather with the DNA analyzer, the company saying that a cloud-sharing platform is in development. That would allow authorized personnel to store, compare and share data they find on different diseases and their manifestation and identify drug-resistant virus strains more easily. The data can be anonymized and geo-stamped, for the privacy and security of both the patient and the health care professional. Sharing of the information gathered through the DNA analyzer will also help assess global epidemic and pandemic situations, identifying pathogens, virus growth- and spreading-rates and transmission rater.
The DNA analyzer, which has a touchscreen, actually, is likely to cost $1,000, while cartridges to test for various diseases will run anywhere from a few dollars up to $100. QuantuMDx hopes to begin rolling out the product in developing countries, where it wouldn’t require FDA approval, by the end of 2015. Approval in the U.S and Europe is still underway, and the company hopes to achieve an Investigational Device Exemption from the Food and Drug Administration, as the exemption would speed up the approval of the DNA analyzer.