Phones have come a long way in the last couple of decades. What we once only used to talk to people we now use to check the weather, do mobile banking, listen to music, watch television shows and movies, play games, message people, update all of our social networks, and oh yeah – we still use them to talk to people on occasion. And now, thanks to an interesting gadget created by some super-smart biomedical engineering students at Columbia University, we can also use our smartphones to accurately diagnose HIV, and the whole process supposedly takes around 15 minutes. The best part about the device? It only costs approximately $34 to create the thing.

This Smartphone Dongle Tests For HIV In 15 Minutes

The way it works sounds fairly simple and straightforward (though it’s undoubtedly anything but), and it involves a finger prick and a blood test. Once a finger is pricked, a drop of blood is placed on a microfluid chip which is then plugged into a slot on the device. The device is then plugged into the headphone jack on an Android or iPhone. All that’s left to do after that is a simple button push which enables the blood sample to be tested. If you’re curious about the reliability of the results, they claim they’re as accurate as other testing methods.

Many are hopeful devices like this can help slow the spread of HIV around the world.

Who would’ve thought we’d see the day when we’d use our phones to help detect diseases? If you’re thinking it sounds like a tricorder from Star Trek, you’re probably not too far off! All in all, it’s a pretty exciting time period to witness!

[Image via QZ]

SOURCE: Yahoo Tech