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Need a Doctor?| Technical by Staff Reporter
Soon there might be an app for that…
The laborious and costly exercise of having to go to a doctor when you are sick may become a thing of the past if researchers in Korea have anything to say about it.
Two Korean researchers, Hyun Gyu Park and his colleague Byoung Yeon Won, have proposed enhancing smartphones’ touch screens to become a “biomolecule detection platform”, or in other words your own personal doctor.
Park and Won last month released a research document entitled “A touch screen as a biomolecule detection platform” which explained how a touch screen could be used to detect bacterial differences in saliva, and thus help diagnose ill people.
“I am trying to make this system to be realised as soon as possible,” said Park.
While there is as yet no app available for this (so don’t go spitting on your smartphone just yet) the researchers have found that touch screens, which work by detecting charges in capacitance (the ability of a system to store an electric charge), are capable of detecting much smaller differences than fingertip vs. no fingertip.
This led to the hypothesis that touch screens could be used to test a sample’s contents, which in turn led to the researchers testing the idea by making three solutions each containing a different concentration of Chlamydia trachomatis, which the screen was able to differentiate between.
Researchers have, however, been unable to make it possible for touch screens to identify what type of bacteria is present in the sample (and not just how much), but it’s still early days.