Well, it’s one of those things: while statisticians claim that violent crime is going down, the police and the newscasters don’t waste another moment telling us that the world’s becoming more dangerous by the minute. And what do the little old us have to rely on nowadays to stay healthy and on top of things? The healthcare system? Yeah, if you’re lucky, don’t have a lot of preexisting conditions, relatively young and gainfully employed. The insurance companies? They have been letting us down lately at an alarming rate and something tells us they’re not nearly done. The helping hand of a friend? They’re all busy checking Twitter and updating their Facebook profiles. So, what else is there? Technology.
It sure as hell won’t save the world (and movies like ‘Elysium’ are a great illustration why not) but it might come in into your life at just the right moment, so you may enjoy those bacon cheeseburgers a little while longer.
Naturally, we’re not advocating self-medicating, but self-diagnosing is already here, it’s perfectly legit and there are no signs of slowing down: diabetics have been self-metering-and-insulin-pumping for years, the unfortunate heart disease sufferers have all kinds of portable self-diagnostic and monitoring tools at their fingertips – from pacemakers to cardiac event recorders. Liver function monitors, portable meibomian gland imaging (the eye thing, don’t ask), mobile endoscopy and so on, and so forth. The tech had gone so far as to zap the nerves on the tongue with the help of a special tongue-mounted device to help soldiers in the field rebuild neural connections after traumatic brain injury. Crazy.
One thing that’s been missing from the list, though, is comprehensive, yet portable blood analyzing. Don’t get us wrong, there are some toys out there but… Well, you want the paramedics to know EVERYTHING about your blood before they begin pumping you full of stuff at the scene of an accident, right?
One device that caught our eye lately is a cartridge-based handheld blood analyzer system called HemoPalm. It’s so brand new, it’s still in the prototype phase and the developer, the startup out of Toronto, Canada called ChroMedX, has just announced the completion of the cartridge design for use with the prototype. Took them almost three years but now the ChroMedx development team is working to finalize the cartridge intake mechanism.
So, what’s so great about this device? Let’s start with the fact that it’s the only one that combines blood gases electrolytes with full CO-oximetry (google it if you wish but might as well trust us – it’s important!). Currently this combination is not available on any of the handheld analyzers on the market. Existing technologies require users to purchase a second device to carry out the CO-oximetry whereas HemoPalm does it all.
Another competitive advantage of the HemoPalm system will be its ability to draw capillary blood directly from a pin-prick site into the cartridge, providing an alternative to arterial blood. You wouldn’t want the first responders to have to look for a vein while you’re lying under a pile of rubble or stuck inside a ravel of metal, plastic and rubber, which a minute ago was your car? We thought not.