Telemedicine is gaining traction in many walks of medicine, though some providers still may be concerned they don’t know how to get started. In addition, many practices are looking at ways to offer more tests on site. The next wave of smartphone capabilities could be the next step forward in both respects. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a device capable of processing samples of blood, saliva, or urine remotely using the light from a smartphone’s flash and camera, along with a 3-D printer. The device, the TRI Analyzer, costs $550. Point-of-care testing has been one of urgent care’s strong suits for a while now; “instant tests” help minimize wait times and improve patient flow, and can often be performed by a medical assistant. The University of Illinois team foresees future versions of the TRI Analyzer being able to process drug tests, so there could also be applications for urgent care providers that offer occupational medicine services at some point.
Smartphone Diagnostics Could Make Telemedicine, Lab Testing More Accessible