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the microsampling blog

consumer blood testing: life after theranos

smarter healthcare

Over the past few decades, a need for better and more efficient healthcare delivery has been on the rise. As a result, there has been an influx of devices and applications developed all in the hopes of delivering smarter healthcare.

However, with the need to accomplish big things with high expectations and tight turnarounds, the healthcare sector has fallen victim to companies that have promised to deliver that but have failed, offering empty promises. A good example is Theranos. Despite these, there are others who have managed to deliver amidst all the challenges.

1. Diagnostic Test Strips

New test strip devices are reportedly able to diagnose various diseases including flu, bacterial infections, and cancer. For cancer diagnosis, the device is being used to monitor the white blood cells count for patients undergoing chemotherapy. A typical such device uses a single drop of blood to capture high-resolution images and the collective white blood cell count using artificial intelligence. With the information obtained from the test regarding white blood cells, it is possible to prescribe patients with cell-boosting medication.

2. New Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy tests have come a long way. Unlike traditional pregnancy testing devices, a new one may use a drop of blood and produce results in 10 minutes. With this device, the results are definitive as they are determined by the presence of hCG. One does not need to go to the lab to confirm the results.

3. Asthma Innovations

Innovative mobile phone applications may be useful to patients living with asthma. Asthma attacks happen at different times and are of varied magnitude. New applications help patients manage the disease. When these systems work as intended, a patient is able to record symptoms of an attack, what triggered it, and the rates of wheezing. This helps set times to take medication or do testing, and gives a patient an increased sense of agency and power over the condition.

4. More Convenient Blood Microsampling

Close up of someone taking a blood micro sample from their finger with a mitra tip while at homeThe Mitra® device, driven by Volumetric Absorptive Microsampling (VAMS™) technology, is a prime example of a new medical technology that can do a lot with a little. By collecting precise volumes of dried blood (or another biological fluid), it eliminates the hematocrit bias, cold-chain shipping, and other traditional impediments to the use of small samples. In so doing, it provides a missing link between the most exciting ideas in healthtech and telemedicine and the stuff of human life, the fluids that keep us vital. It allows our lifeforce to drive healthcare innovation, and enables the scientists and companies leading the next wave of clinical testing.

With these applications and more, it is possible for consumers to quickly get some of the important services that they would alternatively spend hours going to health facilities or laboratories to get. Application of these is, therefore, improving the lives of consumers in more ways than before and we can always hope to see more of these. The transgressions of Theranos shouldn't impede this progress.

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