If you are one of the 15 million Americans that suffer from food allergies, a new invention could be a lifesaver for you.
Smartphones have become a part of everyday lives as they offer more than simply communication and web browsing capabilities. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign have developed a way to turn your smartphone into a handheld biosensor using just a cradle and an app. The biosensor would be able to detect allergens in any food you would consume, as well as other bacteria and toxins in your environment.
Food allergies have become increasingly prevalent, with 1 in 13 children currently suffering from food allergies, a growing epidemic that has elicited the need for better means of avoiding potentially potent provisions.
Most food allergy sufferers carry a EpiPen with them at all times in case of allergic reaction, but a recent storyof a young girl who died after ingesting food made with peanut butter—in spite of an epinephrine injection—has highlighted the importance of vigilance when it comes to food allergies.
That’s where this mobile biosensor would come in.
The researchers found that components in the cradle mirror components of large, expensive laboratory devices that serve as biosensor and so they used that information to develop a less expensive alternative using something most people already own: a smartphone.
This discovery is great news for severe allergy sufferers who could go into anaphylaxis from even trace amounts of peanuts, dairy, egg, wheat, soy products, or any other allergen. These amounts might have gone unnoticed by human senses, but not the biosensor.
To learn more check out the following video: