Researchers Unveil Portable, Battery-Powered CD4 Monitoring Device
July 15, 2004
A new device -- smaller than a toaster and powered by rechargeable batteries -- to test AIDS patients' CD4 cell levels was unveiled this week at the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok. University of Texas scientists developed the device, which experts say could speed AIDS diagnosis and treatment in remote parts of the world.
The device delivers results in 15 minutes. "Essentially it's a digital reader device. A very small, miniaturized laboratory," said Richard Hawkins, head of LabNow Inc., the company created to manufacture and sell the tester. The machine would cost less than $1,000, with each test costing less than $5. Currently, CD4 monitoring requires a machine the size of a refrigerator that costs more than $75,000.
Knowledge of a patient's CD4 count is key to helping doctors determine when to start patients on drug therapy and monitor their progress. In rural areas of developing nations, getting the results of blood tests can take weeks or months, during which time the patient's condition may deteriorate quickly.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.