US researchers have found a way to turn a common smartphone into a quick and easy device to conduct field tests for HIV and syphilis.

According to the researchers led by Columbia University Engineers using an attachment to make a far cry for diagnostic tests blood drops are tested for the diseases' antibodies in minutes instead of hours.

The device when plugged into a smartphone's audio jack, mimicks the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) a well-known test for HIV and performed almost as well.

The initial study involving 96 women in Rwanda is published in the Science Translational Medicine journal.

Experts hope that this lab-on-a-chip device could be a helpful tool, especially in places where field clinics are set up to help remote or underserved populations.

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