Accordingly Biological engineers at university of Bath in the UK have developed a smartphone-based 25-minute long test that could help doctors quickly diagnose urinary tract infections (UTIs). Similar in principle to a pregnancy test, the test using smartphone cameras can identify the presence of harmful E. coli bacteria in a urine sample in just 25 minutes.
E. coli is present in 80 per cent of bacterial UTIs. The test is small and portable so it has major potential for use in primary care settings and in developing countries. Currently, bacterial infections in UTIs are confirmed via microbiological testing of a urine sample.
"That is accurate, but time-consuming, taking several days. We hope that giving medical professionals the ability to quickly rule in or rule out certain conditions will allow them to treat patients more quickly and help them make better decisions about the prescription of antibiotics," said Dr Nuno Reis, from Bath''s Department of Chemical Engineering.