Universal healthcare is all about bringing affordable medical methods and medicines to the general populace without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, someone has to foot the bill when it comes to receiving medical care, regardless of how bad someone needs or wants to be healed. University of Texas doctoral student Hong Liu took the idea of affordable healthcare and ran with it, creating his origami 3D paper sensor.
By strategically folding the lightweight sensor into different shapes, Liu's incredibly low-cost solution can detect complicated structures, such as HIV and malaria. The origami-inspired sensor is estimated to cost no more than 10 cents a pop. While the technology for cheap sensors has been around for quite some time (such as in home pregnancy tests), adapting the concept for more complicated biological structures does allow for greater application of the technology.
The next step Liu and his team must take before widespread production, however, is testing for accuracy through prolonged trial runs. While the origami paper sensor isn't likely to reduce healthcare costs anytime soon, cheap detection devices such as these can be game changing for developing countries.