Problem definition & Introduction.
One of the major problems that tackles disease curation is the delayed diagnosis. In the early stages of a disease sometimes it’s possible to withstand the pain and ignore having a medical check because most of the medical tests require dealing with chemicals and indicators in order to diagnose such a disease. This operation usually takes a lot of time and wastes a lot of materials and sometimes requires a lot of samples (e.g. blood) to complete the required tests. This routine usually makes patients uncomfortable and leads to the delay of diagnosis.
• Proposed solution
The proposed solution is a cheap and portable medical kit. The medical kit will be linked to cell phones and has its own application that depends on an image processing algorithm and a procedure to analyze the data. The patients will be able to run different tests at any time in their homes with accurate results.
• Methodology and physical concept
The project is based on digital microfluidics fabricated using traditional and cheap PCB technology. Applying a potential difference on the plate create an attractive force that can be used to move, split, dispense and mix the droplets thus chemical reactions between different reagents could easily take place. The operation could be easily automated using image processing and power circuits to monitor and control the reagents. With the aid of indicators, a color change in the droplets could be used to analyze the reagents and give accurate diagnostic results. Furthermore, the samples will be much smaller than needed for conventional medical labs. The ability to add different reservoirs for different chemicals enables running different tests on the same kit.
Owing to its simple operating procedure the test kit could provide accurate results in a very short time, thus, it can be easily used by the patients at home or even by the doctor to provide as fast diagnosis and guide the patient through the proper recovery steps.
Being cheap and portable, it can be used in developing countries that lack the proper diagnostic tools.