Experts sceptical of anti-malaria 'wristwatch'
点击量： 时间：2019-03-02 08:12:01
By Roxanne Khamsi An inventor says he has developed a device with the form of a wristwatch that can detect a malaria infection before symptoms of the illness arise. According to Gervan Lubbe, from South Africa, his device pricks the wearer’s skin every 6 hours and uses an electronic component to check for a “signature vibration” of the malaria parasite. He says that several medical journals plan to publish his papers on this new detection method, but declined to mention any names. Some experts fear that such a device might facilitate the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV if swapped inappropriately or stolen. “In my mind it’s a potential public health threat as opposed to a boon to mankind,” says Peter Scholl, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Health in Baltimore, Maryland, US. However, Lubbe stresses that doctors can change the needles of the watch easily when necessary. Another expert says he is reserving enthusiasm until published papers appear. “I don’t want to make light of it, but it’s nothing I’ve ever heard of before,” says Jon Rosenblatt of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, US, an expert on malaria detection. “Usually these things are published in a peer-reviewed scientific publication.” Lubbe says that his device has been in development for three years and that it can detect in infection levels as low as 50 parasites per 4 microlitres of blood. He claims his company, Gervans Trading, has already received more than 1.5 million orders for the device, which will cost around $280 each. This is much lower than the price of treatment that a patient with severe malaria might require, the inventor adds. When the device detects the frequency of movement that Lubbe claims is unique to the malaria parasite, it flashes an alarm,