Blood testing is essential for the diagnosis and monitoring of many diseases. In many rural areas, people have to travel long distances to reach the nearest medical facility for blood sample testing. Sometimes this can cause delays in detecting serious diseases. However, if the two Indian researchers act in their own way, the obstacles to improving the health index of rural India will soon become a thing of the past. They designed a simple and affordable device that can be shipped to remote areas for blood analysis.
The device uses a Raspberry Pi computer, and all it needs is power. It was designed by Sangeeta Palekar, a researcher at the Shri Ramdeobaba School of Engineering and Management in Nagpur, and her colleague Jayu Kalambe.
Currently, most existing laboratory equipment uses light to test blood samples. When light passes through a blood sample, its intensity changes according to the concentration of the sample. This helps to analyze the number of red blood cells or glucose levels in the blood.
Palekar and her colleagues’ new analyzer uses a similar approach. Their device has an automatic fluid dispenser that can add a controlled amount of reagent to the blood sample, and then light passes through it. Then a miniature Raspberry Pi computer analyzes the data. The researchers said that their equipment can be modified to test for any biochemical substances in the blood. Their research has been published in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Sensor Journal.
In a conversation with IEEE Spectrum Magazine, Palekar said that she understands the importance of blood testing in detecting diseases. “Routine blood tests can help track and eliminate the threat of many potential diseases,” she said.
Palekar also said that their design has several benefits-automation, low cost, portability and simple interface.
She added that in general, their design “is an attractive solution” for resource-poor areas.
The two researchers are now focusing on expanding the types of blood tests that can be performed, such as protein, cholesterol, triglyceride and albumin levels.