S'pore medical kit promises all-in-one test
MONITORING your health in the future might just involve a few taps on your smartphone with a new home-grown all-in-one medical test kit.
With just a prick or a swab, blood, saliva, sweat or urine samples from a person can be used by the portable medical kit to diagnose and measure 20 diseases and health readings, with more to be added.
The medical kit, developed by local medical technology firm BioSenze, is a one-time-use device which is about the size of a thumbdrive. It can be used to detect diseases such as dengue fever, tuberculosis and hand, foot and mouth disease.
It can also be used to measure readings such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can be useful to monitor a person's health.
Each test takes just 10 minutes, which could be 10 times faster than a trip to the clinic, said Michael Tan, the managing director of BioSenze.
To see the test results, a patient plugs the device into a mobile phone through the audio jack and launches a mobile app.
Mr Tan said the inspiration for the product came about 31/2 years ago when he found out that his cholesterol levels were high.
He said that a portable medical kit would have allowed him to monitor his cholesterol levels more easily instead of having to keep visiting a doctor.
Mr Tan said the kit could be useful for health-care workers to monitor patients' health without having to trouble patients to drop by for a visit.
This is because the kit works with the app to send test results to clinics and hospitals through the Internet.
Mr Tan added that the kit will be priced at $10 or less, which he said was an "affordable price" for the average Singaporean and "cheaper than a clinic visit". A doctor's consultation fee at a clinic can sometimes cost above $20.
The medical kit will be launched at CommunicAsia, an infocomm technology trade show, next week.
Patents for the medical kit have been filed and approval for use in the United States is pending at the US Food and Drug Administration.
BioSenze hopes to release the kit by the end of this year in the US, Europe and parts of Asia, including Singapore.