Cellphones AIDS tests studied in S.Africa, S.Korea

August 31, 2012

South African and South Korean researchers are working on making a smartphone capable of doing AIDS tests in rural parts of Africa that are the worst hit by the disease, a researcher said Friday.

The team have developed a microscope and an application that can photograph and analyse in areas far from laboratories to diagnose HIV and even measure the health of immune systems.

"Our idea was to obtain images and analyse images on this smartphone using applications," said Jung Kyung Kim, a professor in biomedical engineering at Kookmin University in South Korea.

The gadget, called Smartscope, is a small 1-millimeter (0.04-inch) microscope and light which clips over a smartphone's camera.

A standard chip with a blood sample then slides into the gadget in front of the microscope. Next, a special phone programme photographs the sample and analyses the cells.

The team hopes that trials in clinics may start next year, Kim told AFP.

A different prototype developed in the United States takes tests in the field that need to be sent to a computer for analysis.

But the Smartscope will itself be able to do a CD4 cell count—a measure of , which determines when treatment starts.

"Its basic function is to count those for diagnosis," said Kim.

The new technology is destined for in remote communities in South Africa and Swaziland, where clinics often don't have the technology to do these tests effectively.

Almost six million South Africans are infected with HIV, while a quarter of Swazi adults carry the virus.

"In community health is not a gimmick. It becomes an essential part of access," said Professor Jannie Hugo, who heads the family medicine department at the University of Pretoria, the partner in the study.

Explore further: Treating HIV sooner would save South African lives and money

Related Stories

Treating HIV sooner would save South African lives and money

July 25, 2011
If the South African government followed a recent recommendation by the World Health Organization to start antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected residents earlier in the progress of the disease, the policy shift would ...

New memory for HIV patients

March 26, 2012
The hallmark loss of helper CD4+ T cells during human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection may be a red herring for therapeutics, according to a study published on March 26th in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Clinton grants S.Africa more control over AIDS programme

August 8, 2012
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday gave South Africa greater control over its AIDS programme, which Washington has spent $3.2 billion ramping up over the last eight years.

Recommended for you

Scientists elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV in calves

July 20, 2017
Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have achieved a significant step forward, eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV by immunizing calves. The findings offer insights for HIV vaccine ...

Heart toxin reveals new insights into HIV-1 integration in T cell genome

July 20, 2017
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 may have evolved to integrate its genetic material into certain immune-cell-activating genes in humans, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Scientists capture first high-resolution image of key HIV protein transitional state

July 13, 2017
A new, three-dimensional snapshot of HIV demonstrates the radical structural transformations that enable the virus to recognize and infect host cells, according to a new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute ...

Barrier to autoimmune disease may open door to HIV, study suggests

July 11, 2017
Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine have discovered that a process that protects the body from autoimmune disease also prevents the immune system from generating antibodies that can neutralize the ...

Team tests best delivery mode for potential HIV vaccine

June 20, 2017
For decades, HIV has successfully evaded all efforts to create an effective vaccine but researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LJI) are steadily inching ...

Mathematical modeling uncovers mysteries of HIV infection in the brain

June 19, 2017
After uncovering the progression of HIV infection in the brain thanks to a new mathematical model developed by a UAlberta research team, clinicians and researchers are developing a nasal spray to administer drugs more effectively.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Ducknet
not rated yet Aug 31, 2012
Read about LifeSaver and this works with technology too with a proprietary device that can send results to any data base and you can have 7 tests on one stick and it uses markers with an assay and the HIV test would retail for around $13.

If you don't have the reader, you can still test and get results in 2 minutes with a 2 second tongue swab and you also get DNA with this as well, cell phone may not get all of that? My blog post..

http://ducknetweb...erttest-
productsrapid-saliva.html

LifeSaver website..how it can help the the Red Cross and has valuable "social" use with self testing Stiks for alcohol..neat stuff..

http://www.alifes...feSaver/
PPihkala
not rated yet Aug 31, 2012
the HIV test would retail for around $13.

To me it sounds that the smartphone test would be cheaper per patient. Of course it might not be as specific, but $13 can be much money per patient at Africa.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.