The lab on a chip

Research and design development of mobile medical equipment for rural and urban health care workers in Sub-Saharan Africa.



Industrial design, Research


Pratt Design Incubator, Brooklyn, NY


The Challenge: Point-of-care

HIV and AIDS are rampant in many parts of Rwanda. Men and women with signs of infection travel long distances to rural and urban health centers, where upon arrival bio samples are taken and they are instructed to return days later for their results. Because of the difficult travel time – and the stigma surrounding the disease – many never return for their diagnosis.

Development: Mapping the journey

For communities where life-threatening diseases are present, the ability for health care workers to rapidly diagnose and treat patients is crucial, but in many low-resource regions the necessary facilities are not available. The Sialab at Columbia University was pioneering microfluidic technology that could give fast and accurate diagnostics cheaply. As part of the design innovation team from the Pratt Design Incubator, I worked on designing the patient journey and the physical devices for this “lab on a chip” technology.

The final prototype

The Clinicard Immunoassay Reader can rapidly test for diseases like AIDS and hepatitis, offering point-of-care diagnosis and counseling, while its size and portability make it ideal for mobile care in low resource areas.


In the Press

This project, a collaboration between The Pratt Design Incubator, Smart Design, SiaLab, and Claro Diagnostics, was recognized in Popular Science magazine "The Lab That Fits in Your Hand"