FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On-the-Spot Flu Tests

Researchers at the University of Colorado have developed a chip capable of testing for 11 strains of influenza, including H5N1 (a.k.a. bird flu). Unlike current tests that can take days, this chip allows a physician to diagnose flu almost instantly.

Analyses by the Centers for Disease Control have found the chip to be 90% accurate. However, the research team is working to make the chip more user-friendly.

Such a device would be invaluable in the event of a flu epidemic, allowing patients to be diagnosed, treated with antiviral drugs, and -- if needed -- quarantined rapidly. It would be especially important for healthcare professionals serving rural and remote areas without access to lab services.

Source: New York Times