Gentag, Inc (DC, USA), a health technology company specialized in creating the next generation of wearables, has recently issued a patent for a diagnostic lab-on-a-chip (LOC) platform compatible with smartphones.
The patent covers cutting-edge DNA-level and biomarker detection. The platform is wireless and can be adapted to measure almost any protein, biomarker or DNA.
Gentag specializes in creating disposable wearable technology for diagnostic purposes, which are also easily accessible to patients worldwide. This is the company’s 76th issued patent in developing smartphone-based diagnostic technology.
Other wearable technologies developed by Gentag include wearable near-field communication diagnostic skin patches, immunoassays, LOC, printable e-noses and microelectromechanical systems.
The latest patent covers quantitative diagnostic tests using near-field communication (NFC) smartphone sensor technology, enabling healthcare professionals or patients to perform diagnostic tests anywhere without requiring lab-intensive procedures.
The patent combines a number of existing technologies including NFC, LOC, sensors and microfluidics, allowing tests for biomarkers and DNA to be carried out with an NFC-enabled smartphone.
Measuring biomarkers is becoming increasingly important in detecting abnormalities of specific proteins that might indicate association with a particular disease.
Developments such as this latest NFC-enabled LOC could allow improved and more rapid monitoring of such biomarkers and other indicators of disease, enhancing point-of-care diagnosis.
Other applications include diagnostics for problematic drug interactions or detection of specific allergens in foods, rapid lab tests, and drug mixing and delivery.
The use of NFC and mobile phones in this manner mean that the technology could become widely available to anyone.
“We believe that the combination of the LOC technology with NFC sensors and proprietary chemistries will allow accurate diagnostic testing to become available to anyone with access to a cell phone,” stated John P Peeters, Gentag’s founder and Chief Executive.
The technology could potentially transform health diagnostics due to its low cost, ease of use and wide accessibility.
In 2003–2004, Gentag filed a patents addressing use of disposable NFC sensor devices, including wearable skin patches. This new technology complements Gentag’s previously announced NFC diagnostic skin patch, immunoassay and e-nose patents.