Friday, March 12, 2010

Cheap paper diagnostic tests for diseases

Little paper diagnostic tests. Sort of like litmus paper for blood. This is some really cool simple cheap technology. Reading about this technology brings a couple of things to mind:
  • In science fiction, this sort of thing would normally be a gadgety box that zaps someone with a ray and thereby diagnoses them. Science fiction, I would argue, rarely predicts this kind of technology. Ziploc bags spring to mind. How many visions of the future included those? (Actually, I'd love it if someone contradicted me here with some highly realistic stories that I could go read.)
  • It's amazing what folks can do when they focus on not just innovating but innovating in ways that would spread important developments to the masses. This thing has great potential for the developing world.

1 comment:

  1. This sort of thing is what I think of as Firefly tech. After watching the show, I found myself wondering what sorts of useful high tech could be packaged in low-tech "wrappings", to fit with the frontier western theme. These paper diagnostics would work. So would "pharm animals" that produce valuable chemicals and medicines, slugthrowers with variable ammunition, and so forth.