Urinary tract infections (UTI) are among the most common bacterial infections and are more prevalent in women than men. Typically, anyone who suspects they have a UTI needs to have a urine test at a laboratory, which can take hours to get the result and will, of course, cost the patient.
The Fidget Spinner UTI Test
However, one testing kit can diagnose UTI in under an hour in the comfort of your own home without requiring laboratory devices or even electricity to work.
But there's a catch: it looks like a fidget spinner.
Nevertheless, its design, which is indeed inspired by a fidget spinner toy, is actually part of how it works.
According to New Scientist, the UTI test kit takes advantage of the centrifugal force that is generated by spinning the device to push the urine sample through the membrane lining of the device.
But how can it diagnose the infection?
Based on the report, the bacteria should stick to the membrane lining of the device and will separate from the liquid, then with the use of a dye, bacteria that stuck to the membrane will turn orange and will alert the patient of their presence.
The result should be ready in around 45 minutes, which is a lot faster than traditional tests that could even take days.
Easy to Operate
"It is easy to operate," said Yoon-Kyoung Cho, a biomedical engineer from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea and one of the experts that worked on the test kit.
Cho created the UTI fidget spinner test kit since they found out that patients who go to their doctors to have themselves tested for the infection are often prescribed antibiotics even if the results aren't in yet and even if the medication won't help with the issue.
The researchers said that this practice could increase the bacteria's resistance to antibiotic treatments as time passes by, enabling them to survive despite medications.
Since the device is easy to use and does not require any electricity or elaborate laboratory devices, Cho and his team also believe that their invention could help improve healthcare in progressing and underserved areas.
"The fidget spinner could be used in low-resource settings as an inexpensive handheld point-of-care device for the rapid concentration and detection of pathogens in urine samples," the authors wrote on their paper that was published earlier this week in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.
What is UTI?
According to the Mayo Clinic, UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary tract system, including the bladder, kidneys, ureter, and the urethra, although most infections occur in the lower part of the system, which includes the bladder and the urethra.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a burning sensation when urinating, a strong and persistent urge to pee always, small amounts of urine and frequent urination, and urine that appears cloudy or is cola-colored, tinged with red, or is pink.
Although the fidget spinner is an effective kit to diagnose UTI, it is still essential to get an appointment with a physician to be prescribed with proper medicines.