Science & Engineering | News
UCLA Google Glass App Evaluates Medical Tests on the Fly
Researchers at UCLA's Henry Samueli
School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed an app for
Google Glass and an
accompanying server platform that helps health care workers read diagnostic
The technology is designed for use with rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), which
involve placing a small sample of blood or other bodily fluid on a test strip
and then looking for color changes on the test strip to indicate the presence of
diseases such as HIV, malaria or prostate cancer. Usually, health care workers
look at color changes in the test strips with the naked eye, but the results are
prone to human error. According to information from UCLA, this new technology
greatly improves the accuracy of RDT results.
To use the technology, medical workers wear a Google Glass device and use it
to capture pictures of the RDTs. The Google Glass app uploads the pictures to
the server platform, which returns its analysis in as little as eight seconds.
The server platform can evaluate test results coming from multiple devices
simultaneously, and users can access a Web portal where they can "view test
results, maps charting the geographical spread of various diseases and
conditions and the cumulative data from all the tests they have submitted over
time," according to information from UCLA.
The researchers tested the system under normal, indoor, fluorescent lights,
and the technology read test results accurately 99.6 percent of the time. Even
when testing blurry images, the technology had a successful read rate of 96.6
percent. According to information from the university, "the new technology could
enhance the tracking of dangerous diseases and improve public health monitoring
and rapid responses in disaster-relief areas or quarantine zones where
conventional medical tools are not available or feasible."
The researchers published their findings online in the peer-reviewed journal
ACS Nano, a
publication for nanoscience and nanotechnology research in the areas of
chemistry, biology, materials science, physics and engineering.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.