Are Your Sniffles Really the Flu? This Box Can Tell You

No, it’s not a tricorder, but this new diagnosis technology is a step in that direction


In an age of instant answers, no one suffering from a cold-or-maybe-the-flu wants to deal with waiting at the doctor’s office. Soon, starting next year, you’ll be able to purchase sleek, brightly colored device is called Cue, which can diagnose the flu—and check for inflammation, testosterone levels, fertility or vitamin D. 

From FastCo.Labs

“It doesn't make sense to us that all that information is locked up with gatekeepers,” says Clint Sever, Cue cofounder and chief product officer. “You have to go through a doctor, you have to go through a lab. There's a wait time associated with that, there's a high cost associated with that.”

Instead, you would simply add a small amount of a bodily fluid (mucus from the nose for the flu test, saliva for testosterone, and droplets of blood for fertility, inflammation and vitamin D) to a cartridge with a small sample wand. A few minutes later, your phone gets the results. 

The company, TechCrunch reports, was "founded back in 2009 in the midst of the swine flu peak and has attracted more than $1 million in backing from an undisclosed U.S. angel investor." Cue is just one of a host of health-monitoring devices that are trying to give people access to health information outside of the traditional doctor-patient route. The FDA has not yet approved Cue, but it's available for preorder at $199.

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