We know that in preventing the spread of HIV, it is extremely important to get tested for STIs. But in remote villages in Africa, areas most at risk, getting test results from labs was difficult. The information would be sent by couriers and could take weeks…and this delay could be deadly for some people.
But fortunately, now, communications engineers from Britain’s have adapted technology wireless and immediate communication from office printers and cell phones to relay test results. The new printers are being rolled out elsewhere in Africa after initial success in Mozambique, where the project has been running for a year.
The printer works because engineers have removed the workings of a standard printers, and replaced it with cell-phone technology. A computer at the lab can then relay results from multiple tests simultaneously to clinics using GPRS technology. Printers can be left on so results can be streamed and if the power fails, the results are stored until it comes back.
In the first six months that the program was running in Mozambique, 20,000 results were relayed through the printers. In the past, labs processing thousands of tests lack the staff to call clinics or send results by cell-phone message. Results stacked up until they could be sent in batches by courier.
Though Mozambique still struggles with a shortage of health workers and medicine, this new technology allows for fast results…and more results. With more people being able to receive test results,the more people who will get tested, and stop the spread of HIV. It is certainly a step in the direction towards ending AIDS.
Read more from the original Fox News article here.