Diagnostics For All: Simple and Low-Cost Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostics For All (DFA) is a nonprofit organization working on bringing healthcare to places with limited access to precise and affordable care. One of their main projects is to create cheap and convenient diagnostic tests using their patterned paper technology that only needs a drop of blood to give a result. This technology is essentially a piece of paper grooved with wells that are filled with assay reagents. As a drop of blood is placed on the paper, the assays change color to reflect the result of the test. About the size of a quarter and much cheaper than traditional tests, these point of care indicators are also lightweight and durable, easy to use, reliable and simple to manufacture.

Currently they are focused on making a test for liver damage, which is a known side effect from taking drugs given to tuberculosis and HIV patients. In poorer countries, these paper tests could replace having to use traditional labs and all the equipment, electricity and turnaround time that goes along with them. DFA is working on using their paper based tech to test for other diseases and has garnered support from large foundations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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