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 Personal blood tester

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Date posted: 01/09/2007

Hospital at home technologies are very good at easing the pressure on overburdened health systems. Patients and relatively idiot-proof health equipment doing the jobs that used to take trained professionals to do.

One of these jobs, that actually forms a bulk of outpatient appointments at any major hospital, is blood testing.

Biochip laboratories can perform all the processing a patient might require, speedily, but they cannot extract the blood itself.

Now, So Japanese imaging company Canon has developed a self-contained blood sampler and test strip which takes the place of the professional, and can be performed at home with ease.

An array of small needles about the size of the head of a toothbrush sealed behind a rubber membrane forms the head of the device. The patient places their finger on the membrane and presses.

The needles pierce both the membrane and the skin, drawing blood which flows towards a test strip where a chemical test takes place.

When the patient removes his or her finger, the rubber membrane reseals, keeping out contaminants.

The result can be posted for analysis, or placed into a biochip lab, for there and then workup.

Ultimately, such a device may well be a step towards the hospital at home necessary for prolonged immersion.

See the full Story via external site: www.newscientist.com

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