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This smartphone app can test for COVID

Pixel Phone
(Image credit: Google)

PocDoc is a digital platform and app that allows users to take rapid blood tests using just their camera phones. No additional readers or devices are required and testing can be completed using just the app and the smartphones camera. 

With the testing kit from PodDoc and the use of the PocDoc app, results can be achieved in just five minutes. 

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CEO of PocDoc Steve Roest has discussed in an interview what some of the key benefits and applications of the PocDoc system are – and how the app could potentially help with the current pandemic. The business was founded by Kiran and Steve Roest and aims to deliver a simple solution where users can quickly and simply have a blood test by using their smartphone or tablet.

Roest discusses how one of the key things they wanted to do was ensure that users could implement blood tests without the need for additional readers or bulky devices. The user instead simply pricks their finger and adds a droplet of blood onto a blood test assay. The user then fills in a questionnaire via the proprietary app. After the five minutes, the user simply needs to take a photo of the test using the app. The software should detect minute color changes for each of the markers that are tested.

The system that PocDoc has developed was produced well before the pandemic hit. However, PocDoc were simply able to adapt the system to facilitate rapid testing for COVID-19. 

As smartphones continually improve both in terms of capability and performance, using them to perform certain medical tasks makes a lot of sense. The processing power and cameras in these devices have become quite sophisticated over the last few years and the medical field is seemingly taking advantage of those benefits. 

Roest in the interview explains, "COVID-19 has accelerated the requirement for innovative health tech of all kinds and specifically regarding PocDoc, with our ability to offer digitally integrated, cost effective point-of-care testing for major diseases, the issues we solve for healthcare providers have been exacerbated and made more urgent by COVID-19."

This innovative solution could help in fighting against the pandemic and reduce the time it takes to get results from the initial point of testing. 

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Usman Dawood

Usman is a commercial and architectural photographer based in West Yorkshire, who has been working professionally for over seven years. He has also spent over four years as a writer for the biggest photography sites in the world, including Staff Writer for Digital Camera World, senior staff writer for FStoppers, and tech writer for Petapixel. 


With a particular interest in technology developments, high-resolution imaging and the high-end cameras, Usman has been on the cutting edge of camera news as well as writing features about medium format systems and global shutters, and has reviewed some of the latest Leica cameras as well as a tripod that’s even taller than Andre the Giant!