UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Using mobile technologies to test and treat HIV

Mobile phone-connected HIV tests, which link to online prevention and medical care are being developed for use in South African communities affected by HIV.

Mobile HIV test

27 September 2018

South Africa is the country most affected by HIV; almost seven million people are living with HIV and 300,000 people acquire HIV each year. The province of KwaZulu-Natal, where AHRI is based, is particularly affected. Approximately 45 per cent of women attending antenatal clinics have HIV and only half all people diagnosed with HIV receive care within the following year.
A team from i-sense UCL, led by Professor Rachel McKendry, with Prof Deenan Pillay, Dr Maryam Shahmanesh, Prof Ann Blandford, Dr Valerian Turbe, Prof Pam Sonnenberg, Dr Aneesha Singh, Mark Warner and Anya Zeitlin, have been working with colleagues from across UCL, Imperial College London and at the Africa Health Research Institute in KwaZulu Natal, to develop and deliver digital interventions to support the management of HIV.
The mobile tests use ultra-sensitive techniques and advanced nanomaterials to detect HIV at the very early stages of infection. Apps will be designed to read out the results within minutes and also to interpret already available HIV tests, automatically linking results to a doctor and helping people receive the rapid and regular care that they need.
The project is funded by the Medical Research Council Global Challenge Research Fund and the i-sense EPSRC IRC in Early Warning Sensing Systems for Infectious Diseases.

Related links:

UKRI m-Africa page
Using mobile technologies to test and treat those hardest hit by HIV
i-sense EPSRC IRC