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Draper TB Breathalyzer
Problem being addressed
In low resource settings, tuberculosis is typically diagnosed with sputum microscopy, which currently costs $30 for each test. While this method is low cost, the microscope method requires a culture of sputum, a mixture of saliva and phlegm, and can take up to 8 weeks to grow the culture. During that time, there is a possibility of the patient infecting others with tuberculosis.
Detailed description of the solution
The Draper device is being designed to be a more cost and time efficient device to diagnose tuberculosis. The device is projected to cost around $1000-$2000 USD and each test is projected to cost $1 USD and it will give immediate feedback. Currently in its development stage, the patient would cough up phlegm into the device and the test would take about 10 minutes. The inventor Jose Trevejo would like to make the future device more similar to a breathalyzer, where the patient would breathe into the device and the sensors in the device would determine if the patient has tuberculosis.
- Designed by: Jose Trevejo – principal scientist, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc., Cambridge, MA
- Manufacturer (if different):
- Manufacturer location:
When and where it was tested/implemented
This device is still in the development stage.
Received a grant from World Health Organization 
Other internally generated reports
Externally generated reports
Julie M. Donnelly. (2009). Draper device detects tuberculosis via breathalyzer. Retrieved July 3, 2014 from 
Julie M. Donnelly. (2009). Draper Lab developing handheld TB screener. Retrieved July 3, 2014 from