Medical experts have warned that the new wristwatch invented by South Africa's Gervan Lubbe which can detect the symptoms of malaria can turnout to be a health hazard. They have warned that the device may contribute towards spreading infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS. There are some who have also expressed doubts if the watch can really perform functions like detecting diseases.
'In my mind it's a potential public health threat as opposed to a boon to mankind,' New Scientist quoted Peter Scholl, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Health in Baltimore, Maryland, US. This was, however, contradicted by Lubbe who stressed that doctors can change the needles of the watch easily when necessary.
'I don't want to make light of it, but it's nothing I've ever heard of before, said another expert Jon Rosenblatt of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, US, reserving his enthusiasm until published papers appear.
'Usually these things are published in a peer-reviewed scientific publication,' Rosenblatt added. Lubbe has claimed that his device has been in development for three years and that it can detect infection levels as low as 50 parasites per 4 micro-liters of blood. He added that his company, Gervans Trading, has already received more than 1.5 million orders for the device, which will cost around $280 each. This is much lower than the price of treatment that a patient with severe malaria might require, the inventor adds.
When the device detects the frequency of movement that Lubbe claims is unique to the malaria parasite, it flashes an alarm, prompting wearers to take anti-malarial medication.