FeverPhone: Point of Care Diagnosis of Acute Febrile Illness using a Mobile Device

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Acute undifferentiated febrile illnesses (AFIs) are responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality globally. Our goal is to develop a technology called “FeverPhone,” a real time, rapid, and accurate diagnosis to identify the causative pathogen, that will shift current practices from syndromic-based diagnosis to more personalized diagnosis and informed treatment decisions, along with enabling community health workers to inform appropriate referral and management of the illness.

The “FeverPhone” system is a smartphone based molecular diagnostics platform for point-of-care differential diagnosis of six common causes of acute febrile illness (namely: Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya, Leptospirosis, Typhoid fever, and Chagas). In parallel with technical development, we will perform a staged field validation study at our existing field site in Machala, Ecuador. We have incorporated a translation partner into the program that will ensure that our system is fully validated and ready for FDA approval by the end of the effort.

The effort comprises of the development of: (1) a specialized 6-plexed colorimetric IgM/IgG assay cartridge that exploits color discrimination assay on mobile devices, (2) associated iPad based hardware that allows rapid interpretation of the cartridge results on a platform already used by our field technicians, and (3) software that combines differential molecular diagnosis with a confirmatory symptomatic interface used by the operator to enable actionable diagnosis in around 15 minutes.

The system has significant advantages over the state-of-the-art as it will enable: (1) Quasi-unbiased detection of causative agent behind cause of febrile illness in a single test on a familiar platform requiring little or no training; (2) Simplified patient and spatiotemporal tracking; (3) Demonstrated inter-device repeatability; (4) Health care advice and ability to immediately contact or alert a health-care provider if needed; (5) Low-cost.


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  • Name:
    Elvis Cao
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Xiangkun (Elvis) Cao; David Erickson
  • Profession:
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Xiangkun Elvis is inspired by:
    Science, engineering and art.
  • Software used for this entry:
    Comsol; Solidworks
  • Patent status: