Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: Donate and Lend Your Support

A home blood test with immediate results?

March 4, 2019 by Renee Fischer

René Vidal is designing an at-home blood test that will provide immediate results

With just a single drop of blood from a patient, doctors around the world will one day be able to run a complete blood count within a matter of minutes thanks to a small device being developed by a Johns Hopkins researcher.


René Vidal — the Herschel L. Seder Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Whiting School of Engineering – is working with a start-up and with colleagues from Johns Hopkins and researchers in Europe, to design a device through which computers will employ microscopic vision to detect and classify blood cells.

“The blood flows through a microfluidic device, and there is a combination of microscopic computer vision and machine learning to be able to detect, count, and classify each one of the blood cells,” Vidal explains.

For individual patients using the device at home, the information can be sent directly to their primary care physician. But the innovation also offers opportunities on a global scale.

“This device effectively can benefit anyone in the world,” Vidal says. “For example, patients with cancer that do blood tests before chemotherapy. Or patients in rural areas or third-world countries far from hospitals. So we could be saving millions of lives.”

Make Your Gift

Interested in supporting Hopkins faculty like René Vidal?

Topics: Alumni, Faculty and Staff, Friends of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Whiting School of Engineering, Promote and Protect Health