That’s why a Silicon Valley-based startup has developed the Hoope ring. It’s worn on the thumb, and can reportedly diagnose diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis in less than a minute. Users start by using Hoope’s electric pulse generator to numb their skin. They then press a button on the ring, which causes its single-use retractable needle to come out. That needle is then used to draw a blood sample, which is carried by capillary action to the ring’s lab-on-a-chip.
There, the blood flows through four microfluidic channels, in which it’s exposed to different antigens that have been synthesized to catch antibodies associated with each of the targeted diseases.
Plans call for commercial production of Hoope to be funded through an Indiegogo campaign next January, with a subsequent roll-out taking place first in Mexico and Latin America, followed by Europe and the US. It should be priced at US$50, which will include a ring and three needle/lab-on-a-chip cartridges.