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PointCare NOW Machine
|Location||Africa, Asia, South America|
Problem being addressed
For people living with HIV, the presence of the virus can be detected through a CD4 cells, which are cells that fight infection. In general as HIV progresses, CD4 cells go down which is indicative of a weakening immune system. For HIV-infected patients, a CD4 count should be administered before anti-retroviral therapies begin. However, modern technology for CD4 counting is not easily accessible throughout the developing world. Current technology, such as the flow-cytometry CD4 counter, range from US$30,000–$150,000 which is beyond the affordability for health systems with financial constraints.
Detailed description of the solution
The PointCare NOW machine is a portable blood-testing device that counts CD4 positive T cells and may help detect the presence of opportunistic infections in HIV patients. It is compact and designed to cope with the demands of remote locations. This device gives diagnostic results within minutes at the point-of-care, enabling immediate counseling and care by the physician. The product has a lifetime of 180,000 days,[verification needed] uses little power, and it can store thousands of patient records with a USB memory stick.
- Designed by: PointCare Technologies, Inc.
- Headquarters: Malborough, Massachusetts, USA. Field staff teams are also located in several places in Africa.
When and where it was implemented
This device is currently being used by the medical personnel of the Bwindi Community Hospital in Uganda. The equipment is taken to remote areas to provide health care to thousands of people. Before the equipment, patients usually walked long distances to the hospital.
Boyle, D. S., Hawkins, K. R., Steele, M. S., Singhal, M., & Cheng, X. (2012, January). Emerging technologies for point-of-care CD4 T-lymphocyte counting. Trends in Biotechnology, 30(1), 45-54. PDF available here
Mandy, F., Janossy, G., Bergeron, M., Pilon, R., & Faucher, S. (2008, Feb. 28). Affordable CD4 T-cell enumeration for resource-limited regions: A status report for 2008. Y Cytometry Part B: Clinical Cytometry, 74B, S27-S39. doi: 10.1002/cyto.b.20414. Link available here
Internally generated reports
PointCare. (n.d.) Main website can be found here.
PointCare. (n.d.). PointCare Now: For Near Patient HIV Monitoring [Brochure]. Link available here
PointCare. (n.d.). PointCare Now. Link available here
PointCare. (n.d.). The PointCare Now System and Diagnostic Management of HIV Patients in Resource-Poor Settings. Link available here
Externally generated reports
Bloomberg Businessweek. (n.d.). Healthcare Equipment and Supplies: Company Overview of of PointCare Technologies, Inc. Bloomberg.com. Link available here
Gill, V. (2009, April 12). Mobile technology battles HIV. BBC News. Link available here
Sharma, M. (2009, April 30). PointCare Now machine: Uganda's New Mobile Technology. MercyCorps. Link available here