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Your Smartphone May Someday Diagnose Diseases


Soon you’ll likely turn to your smart phone for medical tests instead of the hospital. Scientist in Korea are in the process of developing an app to do medical tests.

A team of scientists at Korea Advanced Institute of Science of Technology (KAIST) believe biomolecular matter can be detected through touch screen technology.

Study findings were published in the German science journal Angewandte Chemie.

Hyun-gyu Park, who with Byong-yeon Won led the study, said that just as phones, PDAs and other electronic devices with touch screens work by sensing the electronic charges from our bodies, biochemicals such as proteins and DNA molecules also carry specific electronic charges that should also be recognizable.

Experiments showed that touch screens can acknowledge the existence and the concentration of DNA molecules placed on them, an important first step toward one day being able to use those screens for medical tests.

As an example, Park told Reuters TV, “There are proteins known in the medical world like the ones used to diagnose liver cancer, and we would be able to see the liver condition of the patient.”

For other testing, blood and urine samples would be placed on a strip and fed into the phone or an attached module through what Park called an “entrance point.”

“The location and concentration of the sample would be recognized the same way the touch of the finger is recognized,” he added.

But don’t look for this technology to become mainstream anytime soon — right now there’s no timeline in place for turning your phone into a medical diagnostic tool.

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