A portable, affordable Raspberry Pi-powered blood analyser is helping to “establish a robust healthcare ecosystem” in remote parts of India. Samples can be tested in just 30 seconds, and the cost and size of the parts make it an attractive solution for rural and resource-strapped areas.
Tiny computer — massive processing power
Regular blood tests are vital in the tracking and elimination of many diseases, but there is a huge time and monetary cost currently tied to this type of laboratory work.
The researchers’s device measures light absorbance through a blood sample, a common type of analysis, and they harnessed the processing capability of Raspberry Pi 4 Model B to analyse the absorbance data. Their Raspberry Pi-powered solution was found to perform on a par with the kind of expensive lab-based blood test typically used.
Quick and easy
Sangeeta and Jayu’s analyser is not only cheaper to build and maintain than the lab-based version, it also does the job better. Using the lab-based method means that samples from patients in rural areas must be sent away for analysis, with results communicated back to patients at a much later date. In contrast, Sangeeta and Jayu’s device can process blood samples there and then. All you need is an electricity source. Patients get their results immediately, and there is no need to transport delicate samples across rural terrain.
Incorporating an IoT element into their design, which would allow for remote monitoring, is the next step for the researchers. They also intend to develop their invention to allow it to carry out different types of blood analyses.
Read more about the science behind the creation
The full research paper is behind a paywall, but the abstract does a great job succinctly explaining all the science. Sangeeta herself also explains a lot of the magic behind her creation in this interview with IEEE Spectrum.