An indigenously developed point of care diagnostic device is helping the patients get their blood test, blood pressure monitoring and ECG results in a matter of minutes. The device, ‘Healthcube’ was placed among the top four in the telemedicine category in this year’s MedTech Breakthrough Award, premier digital health awards.
The device offers a wide range of vital, blood, urine and infectious disease parameters. It is small and laptop-sized, which makes it portable. The device can perform about 40 essential tests even in the absence of electricity and internet which includes on-the-spot tests,  blood pressure, blood glucose level, oxygen saturation, haemoglobin, ECG, uric acid levels, and infections such as malaria, dengue, syphilis etc within 10 seconds to 5 minutes. It can also test the cardiac and inflammation markers. All data collected is stored in an encrypted database. The access is controlled by a German-Bank level security identity management system that meets data security standards.
“The whole idea behind developing the device is that there aren’t enough doctors globally. In India, for every 1,500 people, there is one doctor, and the density decreases in the rural areas, where there is one doctor for every 20,000 people on an average. This device can be operated by a person who has passed 8th standard,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan, founder of HealthCube and the founder-director of Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in the US.
Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung hospital, whose team is also validating a device that can perform point-of-care tests at remote locations, said: “When it comes to such devices, we need to see whether they are properly validated and have undergone field testing. Such instruments at the primary health centre level or even with ASHA will help in early detection of diseases and reduce any death or disabilities.”
Regarding the MedTech Breakthrough Awards, Laxminarayan said “There were over 500 entries and a panel of 100 esteemed judges selected the winners. This is the first time a hardware-centric innovation from India has made it to this level.” The data in the device can also be saved on the cloud and will present a real-time epidemiological picture of a place.”
At present, nearly 22 states in India are currently using HealthCube in primary healthcare centres.

Source: Hindustan Times.

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