The chip has successfully gone through tests with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on detecting specific sequences for tuberculosis. But Hydra-1K has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Hassibi said FDA approval is not necessary for it to be used in clinics as it's a diagnostic tool, and not surgical equipment.
The biochip is pretty exciting technology, said David Kanter, an analyst at The Linley Group, who was attending Hot Chips.
"My dad's a physician. I'm used to the cycle time for lab tests being really high. The idea of being able to do it while I'm at the doctor's office, that's pretty exciting and cool in terms of making health care way more efficient," Kanter said.
It'll be cheaper, and also save people the trouble of going through drugs that may not work, Kanter said.
"Going through antibiotics is not hot. If we can save people from that grief, and save some money, that's great," he added.
The chip itself is cheap to make as it's made using old manufacturing technology. It's also limited in capacity.
"You can tune it for whatever target as long as it fits within the capacity of the chip," Kanter said.
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