SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara have developed a mobile app and lab kit that enables a smartphone to identify bacteria from patients anywhere. The app will allow doctors to diagnose diseases and prescribe the appropriate antibiotic within a one-hour office visit, the researchers wrote in an article published recently in EbioMedicine. In clinical testing, the detection system was successful in diagnosing urinary track infections by using a smartphone’s camera to measure a chemical reaction and determine a diagnosis in less than 60 minutes. “We believe that this lab test holds exciting potential to bring state-of-the-art diagnostics within easy reach of non-expert users,” said Michael Mahan, lead researcher, in a statement. The lab test works on a variety of pathogens and diverse patient specimens, enabling clinical utility for a number of infectious diseases. The test can also be modified to detect emerging pathogens that pose an ongoing threat to human health.
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