New device could save many lives.
Believe it or not many people walk the streets without knowing their blood type. Knowing your blood type can save your life or even save lives of others (if you are needed for blood donation). During an emergency scenario, knowing the patient's blood type is crucial especially if a blood transfusion is required. Now, thanks to a Portuguese student called Ana Ferraz determining the blood type of a patient will be four times quicker with a device that she designed.
Ana Ferraz was able to build an original device that features a small machine with small containers that utilizes centrifugal force resulting in the separation of substances. The blood is put in a mix with a substance that is used at diagnostics labs called a reagent. Later this mix is put in a device that is compatible with a Smartphone or PC application. This amazing breakthrough allow a blood type to be determined in a matter of 5 minutes which is basically 4 times less than what it usually takes nowadays.
Ferraz's invention has been tested and it has shown to be 96% accurate and as the creator herself believes and hopes that once the improvements are done, it will be used for hospitals, clinics, mobile hospitals and even ambulances.
This device was recognized last week as it made it to the Microsoft's Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals. In this competition student have the chance to be awarded for the inventions they bring to the table. They do need to present a complete business plan and propose how their invention will make it to the market. A total of 309 students competed however it was Ana Ferraz who took 1st place and was awarded with $50,000.
"We are able to solve a problem of health, saving lives and eliminating the blood transfusion with the principles of the universal donor," Ferraz said in her business proposal. She also believed that her invention would make a great solution for those who have mobility difficulties and cannot make it to the lab easily. It will also be great help for caregivers that need to monitor their loved ones closely in every sense.
Ferraz wanted to create an automated device that would be quick in determining blood type and therefore be a tool for saving lives in the ER in situations where decisions have to be taken immediately. Manual test that are nowadays being used for finding blood types have found to be potentially wrong due to a human error and this fact was what inspired Ferraz to create her device.