Will Boulder's FluChips Track the Swine Variety?

April 2009

Colorado's public health officials are awaiting lab results from several locals who might have swine flu, but the tests are taking at least two days to confirm because of the massive number of samples coming from across the nation to a small number of testing sites, according to The Denver Post. InDevR, a Boulder-based company, could speed up the process of detecting the flu with a handy invention called the FluChip, reports the Denver Business Journal. It's not exactly an app for your iPhone yet, but the chip can identify flu strains in a matter of hours--as opposed to days--helping public health officials get up-to-the minute information about the spread of flu strains. Kathy Rowlen, who led the University of Colorado team that released the diagnostic test in 2005 with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, spent yesterday speaking with suppliers to prepare for a possible spike in demand for FluChips--although the company first needs to confirm whether the product can detect swine flu (if it can get its hands on a sample). Meanwhile, a toddler from Texas was the first American to die of swine flu, as health officials around the world warn of a possible pandemic outbreak, according to ABC News. There are now 71 confirmed cases in the United States, and, as KUNC radio reports, Colorado officials are preparing.