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New, Quick Test For Sickle Cell Disease Comes Online

Case Western Reserve University researchers are behind a promising new tool for detecting a serious blood disorder.

Early detection is key in fighting sickle cell disease, an inherited blood abnormality that can be fatal.

The new test, called Gazelle, makes a quick diagnosis using artificial intelligence and microchip technology. 

CWRU researcher Dr. Umut Gurkan led studies into the technology in 2014 and said the key is its accessibility.

“We now provide an automated analysis of results and interpretation of the results. So this allows the technology to be used by almost anyone,” he said.

Gurkan said underserved areas worldwide will especially benefit. More than 500 children die with sickle cell disease every day due to lack of access to early diagnosis, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Gazelle has already been approved for use in Ghana and India and is distributed by Oregon-based Hemex Health.

 “There is such an excitement in the sickle cell community for anything new, anything that might help the access to the diagnosis and the treatment,” Gurkan said.

Gazelle also includes a test to detect malaria, which is in the regulatory process.

June 19 is World Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Day.

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