Diagnostic device that can conduct 40 tests
An indigenously developed point of care diagnostic device, HealthCube, that was placed among the top four in the telemedicine category in this year’s MedTech Breakthrough Award, premier digital health awards, is helping patients get their blood test, blood pressure monitoring and ECG results in a matter of minutes.
The device, which is the size of a laptop, can perform about 40 essential tests even in the absence of electricity and internet. “The whole idea behind developing the device is that there aren’t enough doctors globally. In India, for every 1,500 people, there is one doctor, and the density decreases in the rural areas, where there is one doctor for every 20,000 people on an average. This device can be operated by a person who has passed 8th standard,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan, founder of HealthCube and the founder-director of Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in US.
The device is able to perform on-the-spot tests and provide interpretations for blood pressure, blood glucose level, oxygen saturation, haemoglobin, ECG, uric acid levels, and infections such as malaria, dengue, syphilis etc within 10 seconds to 5 minutes. Nearly 22 states in India are currently using HealthCube in primary healthcare centres.
Talking about the awards, Laxminarayan, said: “There were over 500 entries and a panel of 100 esteemed judges selected the winners. This is the first time a hardware centric innovation from India has made it to this level.” The data in the device can also be saved on the cloud and will present a real-time epidemiological picture of a place.
Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung hospital, whose team is also validating a device that can perform point-of-care tests at remote locations, said: “When it comes to such devices, we need to see whether they are properly validated and have undergone field testing. Such instruments at primary health centre level or even with ASHA will help in early detection of diseases and reduce any death or disabilities...”