New Handheld Device, Q-Poc Detects Cancer, Tuberculosis in 15 Minutes

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

By: Jessica F


Late detection in chronic diseases including cancer can mean devastating results. Sometimes, this means it’s too late to cure the patient. That’s why a London-based company developed a handheld device which can detect cancer and tuberculosis in just 15 minutes.

According to a report by NDTV, a start-up company in London claims to have developed a device which can diagnose cancer, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases through DNA analysis of pathogens called Q-Poc.

It is just the same size as your credit card and uses solar-powered batteries. Jonathan O’Hallaron, co-founder of the company said in an interview that “We are now at the point that we have a working prototype that can perform a highly sensitive tuberculosis test from a sample through to results in 15-20 minutes.” The company is confident with the efficacy of the technology and they hope to start production before the year ends.

Usually it takes more than three days to get a diagnostic. According to “Routine biopsy and cytology results may be ready as soon as 1or 2 days after the sample gets to the lab. ” But Q-poc can do this in less than 20 minutes.

QuanTuMDx is the company behind the Q-Poc. According to the company the cartridges contain sensors which can identify different molecules from samples. They can identify diseases based on DNA analysis. “Operation is simple: input the sample into the cartridge, insert the cartridge into the device and press go. In 10-15 minutes a result will be presented on-screen.” It is very fast, cost-effective and operates using very low energy consumption.

The Guardian said this “handheld lab” or the handheld device which can detect cancer is still waiting for regulatory approval by the World Health Organization (WHO). Once approved, they are looking at using this technology in South Africa.

According to O’Hallaron it is different from the old process because Q-poc uses the most conventional diagnostic tools. It analyses the DNA of pathogens instead of the proteins in the sample as how it was practiced before. He said this technology sounds very simple but it is a ground breaking technology and nothing in the market comes close to Q-poc in terms of cancer detection.

If proven effective, this technology can definitely help in the fight with these type of diseases including cancer and tuberculosis. Early detection is always a key in receiving immediate and proper treatment.