Reducing the Per-Test Cost of Anemia Diagnostics


Member profile details

Membership level
2020-2021 Team
Project Thumbnail Image
Team Name
Project Title
Reducing the Per-Test Cost of Anemia Diagnostics
Design Challenge
Anemia is most common in the regions of the world least able to afford effective diagnostics. Clinicians in low-resource settings need a hemoglobin measurement system that can be used at the point of care, is accurate, easy to use, and affordable in order to effectively diagnose and treat this harmful condition. Current methods to measure hemoglobin suffer from a high per-test cost or low accuracy. Rice 360° has developed HemoDx to address these challenges. However, the current disposable paper strip is asymmetrical and expensive to manufacture, so the HemoDx continues to be too expensive per-test. Additionally, the HemoDx disposable has low usability due to high user interaction. A low-cost, usable, accurate redesigned disposable is essential to making the HemoDx feasible for use in low-resource settings.
Design Summary
To approach lowering the per-test cost of the HemoDx, we focused on the disposable, as this is the main determinant in per-test cost. Our goals were to create a lower cost disposable that could be manufactured more simply and was easier to use in terms of system usability metrics such as user steps. The disposable also needed to be durable and retain a high level of accuracy to accomplish its purpose of effective anemia diagnostics. Our redesigned version of the HemoDx disposable features a paper strip within a plastic casing with new, simpler geometry for lower cost manufacturing. The plastic casing improves durability and handling. The strip also features minimized user interaction, as the user no longer needs to place tape over the blood themselves, and the potential to deposit blood directly onto the paper rather than requiring a transfer pipette. The capillary action required for blood to flow through the strip to the point where a reader can take an accurate hemoglobin measurement has not been consistently successful, and the potential for blood contamination if the disposable is dropped or if too much blood is deposited. These are issues that will need to be addressed before the disposable can be used in clinical settings.
Additionally, the team has considered some ergonomic improvements for the reader which will be modeled. The reader-strip interaction will be simplified with a horizontal, reusable plastic pull-door. A model for the outer device geometry will incorporate human factors improvements based on usability assessments of other existing anemia diagnostic devices.

Member photo albums (1 Album)

Contact us

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
Rice University

6100 Main Street MS 390 | Houston, Texas | 77005

Phone: 713.348.OEDK


Lead Industry Partners