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CATCH: The HIV Detector

"CATCH" is a low cost, easy to use, self-testing device which detects HIV. This encourages people in developing countries to check themselves for HIV at home.

What it does

"CATCH" is a low cost, easy to use, self-testing device which detects HIV. This encourages people in developing countries (who are discouraged from travelling for miles to see a doctor) to check themselves for HIV at home.

Your inspiration

After witnessing my Aunt pass away due a life-threatening illness, it was heart-breaking. If she had her illness caught earlier, perhaps her chances of survival would have been greater. That's when something clicked - too many people are dying due to late diagnosis. HIV is the biggest killer of the 3rd world. 2.5 million contract HIV every year, with 2 million dying from AIDS. This begs the question, why is HIV not detected before it reaches the AIDS stage? If HIV is caught early, it is treatable. As a result, the death toll in developing countries will be considerably lower.

How it works

CATCH is extremely intuitive and can be used by anyone. It is designed to do all the thinking for the user and is operated in 3 easy steps; 1. Sliding the disinfectant sleeve over the finger. 2. Push down on the pipette/needle top 3. Press the button to see the result This simple device has the potential to save millions of lives at a tiny production price of £4. Developing countries shouldn't be reliant on western donations - they need product specifically designed for them. The device itself is partly made from recycled plastic bottles. This is to help combat the ever-rising issue of environmental deterioration (which is a contributing factor to what establishes a country as 'underdeveloped').

Design process

BRIEF - To design a HIV detection product which is intuitive and user friendly. RESEARCH - Conducting interviews with professionals within the medical field. Identifying problems with current methods of blood extraction. - Obtaining information from Charities about what separates majority world countries from minority world countries. DESIGN - Initial sketches, test rigs and development before proceeding to CAD. - CAD work enabled further issues to be identified which may not be easy to do via sketches. - This was the longest process as numerous concepts were tested along the way. IMPLEMENTATION - 3D printing prototypes. This enabled me find issues not only with technical details (i.e. snapfit tolerances etc.) but also aesthetic and ergonomic issues. EVALUATION - Probably the most important stage as this was the half way point of the project. User feedback enabled me to go back and redesign parts of the product to better suit the end user.

How it is different

Its incredible how the current method of home testing HIV kits is not as intuitive as it could be. Results from this test work at the push of a button. Not only could this be the new method to test for HIV, it can be the new method to test for all bloodbourne virus's. The sleek design also makes it easier to understand how to use i.e. for those individuals in countries who are not fortunate enough to have the opportunity of schooling and education.

Future plans

I am not interested in profit at all - a price cannot be put on the welfare and advancement of human civilisation. Problems will always be present in the world, but my dream is to live in a world where issues in developing nations are proportional to those in western civilisation. I hope to take this product into production as soon as possible. The sooner we can stop HIV, the more lives we can save.


Design of the Year 2019 (nominee + shortlist) - Ongoing INDEX: Design to improve life 2019 (nominee) - Ongoing

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