HEMOSPEC HEMOGLOBIN CONCENTRATION

 

Global Health Challenge:

 

Anemia affects 1.6 billion people worldwide. In developing countries, anemia afflicts half of women and children below 5. Anemia is the deficiency of hemoglobin or red blood cells, which hinders the ability of blood to transport adequate amounts of oxygen to body tissues. In developing countries, anemia contributes to a 35% increase in maternal mortality and a 72% increase in perinatal mortality. It is also a risk factor for preterm birth. Additionally, anemia may lead to physical and mental development problems in early childhood and decreased fitness and aerobic capacity in adults. As a consequence, developing countries are burdened with associated healthcare costs, reduction in adult productivity, and decreased learning capacity in children.
 

 

Rice 360° Solution:

 

Hemospec is a portable, low-cost device that accurately and safely assesses hemoglobin concentration. This technology will provide healthcare workers in low-resource settings with the information necessary to diagnose anemia. Current point-of-care devices are inaccurate, time-consuming, or require operating costs that are too high for clinics in low-resource areas. The Hemospec device costs $100 and replaces costly cuvettes of current solutions ($0.99/test) with inexpensive nitrocellulose paper (<$0.01/test). With a small amount of blood, Hemospec provides immediate results, and is accurate to within 2 g/dL of the gold standard for 95% of the samples. By employing a simple and effective method of diagnosis, the device will draw very little power and be robust enough to withstand daily operation. This will allow it to be used with minimal maintenance in the field. Finally, the device is user-friendly and provides instant results, allowing healthcare workers to quickly diagnose anemia. Current Status Testing has been performed to optimize performance of Hemospec, including filter paper selection, wavelength measurements, reagents and amount of blood necessary. Field testing is planned for Summer 2013 in Houston and Malawi. ><$0.01/test). With a small amount of blood, Hemospec provides results within 30 seconds and is accurate to within 1 g/dL of the gold standard for 98% of samples. By employing a simple and effective method of diagnosis, the device will draw very little power and be robust enough to withstand daily operation. This will allow it to be used with minimal maintenance in the field. Finally, the device is user-friendly and provides instant results, allowing healthcare workers to quickly diagnose anemia.
 

 

Current Status and Next Steps:
 

Testing has been performed to optimize performance of HemoSpec, including paper selection, wavelength measurements, reagents, acceptable reading window, and amount of blood necessary. Field testing has been conducted in Malawi and at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, and further testing is planned for at LBJ Hospital in Houston.