Malaria Detection Revolutionized

What if we told you

we could save one million lives every year with just refrigerator magnets and a laser pointer

Malaria infects more than 3,300,000,000 worldwide and over $12 billion is spent or lost annually treating the disease.

Though malaria is treatable if detected, the diagnosis process is riddled with problems. Methods exist to identify malaria, but require extensive improvements to be truly efficient. One such method involves drawing and placing blood under a microscope. While effective in identification, this process is costly and requires the presence of expertise. Alternatively, RDTs, or rapid diagnostic tests, may be used. These tests resemble a pregnancy test in practice, and are used to detect the disease. The problem RDTs present is their requirement of a disease threshold. This arbitrary level must be reached in order for the test to read positive. Further, they are not quantitative in nature and, thus, fail to pinpoint the extent to which the disease has progressed.

Disease Diagnostic Group (DDG) offers a new alternative: They present us with technology that quickly & easily detects the disease at a fraction of current testing costs.

Malaria parasites release a magnetic biomarker during the digestion of a victim’s blood. Normally these biomarkers form a sea of randomly assembled rods; however, when a magnetic field is applied, the rods rearrange to create a wall-like formation. DDG used this knowledge to create their RAM device. The RAM device is a reusable, mechanical, quantitative, portable device. It employs magnetic field application laser technology to form and assess the resulting biomarker pattern. The magnitude of light penetration is indicative of the severity and stage of the disease present. The RAM device addresses the five most important factors in diagnostics: time, cost, accuracy, stability, and training.

“10 million people die every year due to improper diagnosis or deferred action.”

DDG’s device has now been piloted in 7 countries, and over 20,000 tests have been administered to date. Co-founder Alphonse Harris urges that their work is “extremely important for malaria…Existing treatment costs between $2 and $10 when the disease is caught early, yet 10 million people die every year due to improper diagnosis or deferred action.” With the RAM device, DDG is going to reshape the way we diagnose malaria.

See more about DDG here:


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