THANKS TO WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY, medical applications like remote patient monitoring are providing increased accessibility and affordability. They also have made such procedures more convenient for patients, doctors, and medical centers. Soon, wireless technology also will be used for patient diagnostics. In conjunction with its partners, GENTAG, Inc. recently demonstrated a disposable wireless diagnostic test platform for consumer cell phones.

The firm started with established immunoassay technology. It then made that technology wireless and compatible with near-field-communications (NFC) technology using appropriate sensors. The resulting combination enables consumers to use their cell phones as diagnostic tools to instantly test for pathogens, allergens, or common medical conditions at any timeno matter where they are. For example, GENTAG's platform will allow users to test for pregnancy, fertility, pathogens, AIDS, drugs, and allergens in addition to specific cancers (see figure). In addition to enabling more rapid diagnoses, GENTAG asserts that this development can make diagnostics more accessible and affordable for more people worldwide. One of their solutions is a urine-based test for prostate cancer (similar to a pregnancy test), with results communicated directly to a physician via cell phone.

Currently, NFC is being integrated into all major cell-phone brands. To leverage this opportunity, GENTAG is working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide to promote the uses of its platform for consumer markets. Once available, this technology is expected to significantly impact a number of men's and women's health markets including ovulation, fertility, labor, and urine-based prostate-cancer testing as well as tests for common food allergens.