RWANDA SELENIUM SUPPLEMENTATION CLINICAL TRIAL
This three-year randomized controlled trial, involved 300 HIV-positive patients, who had not begun antiretroviral therapy (ART). The results showed a 48 per cent decrease in the rate of CD4 decline. CD4 cells are a type of white blood cell that plays a crucial role in protecting the body from infection. The HIV virus attacks and destroys the CD4 cells of a person’s immune system. CD4 counts are a strong indicator of the progression of the disease. A low CD4 count is one of the ways to tell if a person living with HIV has progressed to stage 3 infection (AIDS). Funded by Global Benefit Canada, now IBG, the study was conducted by medical professionals in Rwanda, and supported by Canadians Dr. Don Warren, ND. Dr. Ed Mills and Dr. Dugald Seely.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral known for its antioxidant properties and for its role in preserving immune competency. The main source of selenium in the body comes from food; the amount of selenium in food depends on where the food is grown or raised. The level of selenium in soils varies significantly around the world. Dr. Harold Foster, a medical geographer, theorized that the reason AIDS was so prevalent in East and South Africa was because of the low levels of selenium in the soil. The study shows that selenium supplementation may be a positive way to slow the progression of the disease in HIV positive persons.
Use of Diagnostic Technology to Improve Impact
Sci-Bots Inc. is developing the next generation of tools to automate and miniaturize biology and chemistry. Their portable and easy-to-use DropBot platform uses a technology called digital microfluidics to transform lab experiments into digital objects that can be optimized, shared to the cloud, and replicated anywhere in the world with perfect fidelity.
DropBot is an open-source Digital Microfluidic (DMF) automation system developed in the University of Toronto’s Wheeler Lab. It can be used to manipulate discrete droplets on the surface of an array of electrodes coated with a hydrophobic insulator. DMF has many applications in the fields of biology and chemistry, including diagnostics, cell-based assays, and chemical synthesis. The DropBot features a modular and extensible design, an intuitive user interface, and is capable of driving up to 120 independent channels. It also provides dynamic impedance sensing which enables closed-loop control and real-time measurement of:
- drop position
- instantaneous drop velocity
- electrostatic driving force
DropBot is built around an Arduino-based instrument and is controlled by a custom software interface called Microdrop. Users can activate/deactivate electrodes on the DMF device by clicking their mouse on the webcam video overlay, providing an intuitive interface with real-time visual feedback. Sequences of actuation steps can be pre-programmed and run automatically, enabling fully automated operation. The system is designed as a loosely-coupled set of modules, which means that it is relatively easy to extend the hardware and/or software capabilities.
Embed data capture into routine workflow
Fionet connects mobile companion devices that guide diagnosis, treatment and record-keeping with web-based tools for remote oversight and reporting.
IMPROVE FIELD PERFORMANCE AND OVERSIGHT OF RAPID DIAGNOSTIC TESTING
The Deki Reader provides step-by-step guidance for performing rapid diagnostic tests and delivers an objective analysis of results. Meanwhile, Fionet provides test-by-test traceability.
The Deki Reader is a rugged, in vitro diagnostic device for use with commercially available lateral flow immunoassays (commonly known as rapid diagnostic tests) and Fionet mobile software.
The Deki Reader provides:
- Step-by-step guidance for performing rapid diagnostic tests
- Quality checks for rejecting misprocessed tests
- An objective analysis of test results
- Test-by-test traceability via records uploaded to Fionet
- Feedback from remote managers using Fionet two-way messaging
- Configurable workflows for standardizing care delivery and data capture