‘Tricorder’ That Could Change Medicine

When you get mysteriously ill, how do you diagnose what's up? If you're at home, you might have a thermometer to help identify your illness, but not much else. Even your general practice doctor is limited by the tools they have to hand. To find out, you have to go to hospital – where complicated machinery is available, for blood tests, scans and more. Unfortunately, not everybody has that access.

That's why Anita Goel of the company Nanobiosym decided to invent a ‘tricorder' – in the same vein as the multipurpose medical tool that has the potential to transform healthcare itself.

There are over 4 billion people who don't have access to a basic health care. Part of the problem is the entire paradigm for delivering health care has relied upon a centralized model. We have to go to centralized hospitals, centralized labs to get information to deal with our health. Even so, many people don't have access to these resources.

Dr Anita Goel stated that she believed Nano Technology provides tools in technologies to help create the next generation of health care. A new kind of health care that's more decentralized, more personalized and more mobilized.

Her work at the nexus on fundamental physics, biomedicine, and Nano technology, a field that she likes to call Nano-bio-physics has taken her over 20 years. She studied on Nano machines that read and write information on DNA. These Nano machines are tiny molecular xerox machines whose job is to access information stored in molecules of DNA and replicate it , transcribe it and bring that information to life.

The doctor hypothesized that there is also information on the molecular environment other than the conventional thinking that most of the biological information is stored in the sequence of DNA or RNA.

"… It is interplay of the information in the DNA and environment that affects how these molecular machines reading and writing information of DNA." She says. So she experimented on a strand of DNA molecule by probing and controlling certain parameters in the environment.

It is because of this precision control technology and its result that they have been able to create a gene radar that enables to diagnose any disease with genetic fingerprint in real time and replace the centralize system of health care with simple mobile tricorder like device. The first few apps are focused on those diseases that have a great impact on large number of people. This devise can detect the Ebola virus in blood stream before the patient shows any symptoms. In HIV case also, it can take a test that takes up to 6 months in the developing world and do it in few minutes for cheaper price.

The Dr. believes that her lab is on the verge global revolution and this devise is helping the healthcare sector in great deal.