Smartphone coffee

Researchers have developed a laboratory on a smart phone that can detect cancer.

Mass production. Once we learn how to mass produce something it becomes much, much cheaper. And the cost often keeps falling.

Researchers from Washington State University, led by Lei Li, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering have published work indicating that they have developed a low cost mini laboratory that can form part of a smart phone and which can analyse samples to catch a cancer biomarker. The results are apparently of lab quality.

Assistant Professor Li said: “With our eight channel spectrometer, we can put eight different samples to do the same test, or one sample in eight different wells to do eight different tests. This increases our device's efficiency.”

"The spectrometer would be especially useful in clinics and hospitals that have a large number of samples without on-site labs, or for doctors who practice abroad or in remote areas.

"They can't carry a whole lab with them. They need a portable and efficient device."

This is just one example of new technologies that are set to change healthcare in a very profound way.

Assistant Professor Li focused on the applications of the technology within the healthcare industry and by its practitioners.

But the era when all of us can pop into Boots, or even whip out our smart phone from our pocket and diagnose whatever ailment is inflicting us, and whatever ailment is beginning to inflict us, or will inflict us, is close to dawning