Wednesday March 20, 2019
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Cellphone-based tech could cut lab visits for blood tests

The portable MELISA weighs less than half a kg, and the researchers believe that it has the potential help older patients suffering chronic conditions and those across the world

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Blood Tests now available on mobile phones.
Blood Tests now available on mobile phones.
  • Researchers have developed a cellphone-based blood test
  • This can save visits to doctors
  • The technology is called Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

Researchers have developed a cellphone-based blood test technology that can provide immediate results in the comfort of one’s home or a doctor’s clinic, thereby cutting visits to the laboratory.

In a paper published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the researchers detailed a mobile version of the “Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay” (ELISA), the gold standard technique used to detect the presence of an antibody or antigen.

This test will save visits to the hospital. Pixabay

“ELISA is an important technology for biochemical analysis of proteins and hormones and is critical for the diagnosis of many diseases, such as HIV and Lyme Disease,” said corresponding author Anna Pyayt, Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, US.

“But the machines required for the incubation and reading are expensive and bulky,” Pyayt said. Instead of sending patients to a laboratory, the new cellphone-based technology – Mobile Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (MELISA) — allows for the very same test to be conducted in the doctor’s office, clinic or even in a remote area.

Also Read: Blood sodium levels linked to cognition in older adults

“The MELISA allows patients to undergo testing and obtain results at point-of-care,” Pyayt said. The device accurately measures progesterone levels, a key hormone that impacts female fertility and is indicative of some cancers.

It consists of a water bath heater that incubates samples at a target temperature and analyses them via images taken by mobile phone. The device uses colour analysis to determine the RGB (red, green, blue) colour components of each sample. The blue colour component is used for further analysis due to its sensitivity to the changes in progesterone concentration.

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Thi is a revolutionary invention. Pixabay

“It is designed to make biomedical testing simple and affordable. When low cost testing can be integrated with routine clinic visits, this would greatly improve the quality of healthcare and detect worrisome signs earlier,” Pyayt added. The portable MELISA weighs less than half a kg, and the researchers believe that it has the potential help older patients suffering chronic conditions and those across the world. IANS

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Google Claims Eye Doctors Can Turn More Effective Using AI

Without assistance, general ophthalmologists are significantly less accurate than the algorithm, while retina specialists are not significantly more accurate than the algorithm. 

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The research team at Google AI believes that some of these pitfalls may be avoided if the computer can "explain" its predictions. Pixabay

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to evolve, diagnosing diseases has become faster with greater accuracy. A new study from the Google AI research group shows that physicians and algorithms working together are more effective than either one alone.

In the study, to be published in the journal Ophthalmology, the researchers created a system which not only improved the ophthalmologists’ diagnostic accuracy but also improved the algorithm’s accuracy.

The study expands on previous work from Google AI showing that its algorithm works roughly as well as human experts in screening patients for a common diabetic eye disease called diabetic retinopathy.

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To test this theory, ten ophthalmologists (four general ophthalmologists, one trained outside the US, four retina specialists, and one retina specialist in training) were asked to read images with and without algorithm assistance. Pixabay

“What we found is that AI can do more than simply automate eye screening, it can assist physicians in more accurately diagnosing diabetic retinopathy. AI and physicians working together can be more accurate than either one alone,” said lead researcher Rory Sayres.

Recent advances in AI promise to improve access to diabetic retinopathy screening and to improve its accuracy. But it’s less clear how AI will work in the physician’s office or other clinical settings, the team said.

According to the team, previous attempts to use computer-assisted diagnosis shows that some screeners rely on the machine too much, which leads to repeating the machine’s errors, or under-rely on it and ignore accurate predictions.

The research team at Google AI believes that some of these pitfalls may be avoided if the computer can “explain” its predictions.

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Recent advances in AI promise to improve access to diabetic retinopathy screening and to improve its accuracy. But it’s less clear how AI will work in the physician’s office or other clinical settings, the team said. Pixabay

To test this theory, ten ophthalmologists (four general ophthalmologists, one trained outside the US, four retina specialists, and one retina specialist in training) were asked to read images with and without algorithm assistance.

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Without assistance, general ophthalmologists are significantly less accurate than the algorithm, while retina specialists are not significantly more accurate than the algorithm.

With assistance, general ophthalmologists match but do not exceed the model’s accuracy, while retina specialists start to exceed the model’s performance. (IANS)