We’re already quite familiar with the testing kits in which a woman pees on a “stick” to see if they’re pregnant. Well, Australian scientists have now developed a similar device, except that users spit on it to find out if they’re at risk of heart disease.
Being developed in a partnership between startup ESN Cleer, RMIT University and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, the gadget has a main stick-like body that houses the electronics, along with a removable head containing nano-sensors – the user applies a saliva sample to the latter. As is the case with many other modern devices, the whole thing communicates with an app on the user’s smartphone.
“The sensor head measures six different biomarkers known medically to be early indicators of poor heart health,” RMIT’s Prof. Sharath Sriram tells us. “A couple of these include cardiac troponin and B-type natriuretic peptide. The sensor measurements get transferred to the electronics, which pairs with your phone via Bluetooth. A machine-learning-based algorithm uses a correlation between the biomarker panel to present an indication of health trends and predict risk of heart failure.”