$1 chip tests for HIV in 15 minutes flat, fits in your wallet

Updated ·1 min read

Getting tested for STDs used to mean a doctor's visit, vials of blood, and days, weeks, or even months of anxiously waiting for results. mChip aims to change all that, while simultaneously ridding your brain of viable excuses not to get tested. It works as such: one drop of blood goes on the microfluidics-based optical chip, 15 minutes pass, and boom, the AmEx-sized device will confirm whether or not you have syphilis and / or HIV. The bantam gizmo is practically foolproof, as reading the results doesn't require any human interpretation whatsoever. Plus, it's cheap -- cheaper than a coffee at Starbucks. One dollar cheap. Researchers at Columbia University claim the mChip has a 100 percent detection rate, although there's a four to six percent chance of getting a false positive -- a stat similar to traditional lab tests. As you'd likely expect, there's hope that the inexpensive mChip will help testing efforts in places like Africa to detect HIV before it turns into AIDS. Next stop: the self-service pharmacy at CVS?