COMMENTARY

10 Tech Advances That Can Change Medicine

Disclosures

December 16, 2016

Microfluidic Chips for Labs via a Droplet of Blood

I wrote about the Theranos debacle in the updated paperback edition of The Patient Will See You Now (excerpt here). Theranos had promised low-cost, accurate blood tests from a droplet of blood, and although that clearly did not materialize from Theranos, the technology to do this with microfluidics and colorimetrics is moving forward. As an example, here are the immunoassays I had done by Genalyte with a droplet of blood, run before me in 9 minutes. This would normally require a send-out to specialized labs, take a week or two, and cost over $1000.

Microfluidic technology can make a substantial proportion of assays cheap, fast, and accurate. In contrast to Theranos, this company is fully transparent, and has published a number of peer-reviewed validation papers.

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