Ohio State University, Chemistry department, is developing paper strips that detect diseases including cancer and malaria for as low cost as of 50 cents.
Researcher Abraham Badu-Tawiah explained that the idea is that people could apply a drop of blood to the paper at home and mail it to a laboratory.
People who have family history of cancer can check on a regular basis and see a doctor, if the test comes out positive.
The researchers also found that these tests were accurate even a month after the blood sample was taken, proving they could work for people living in remote areas.
Badu-Tawiah aim behind the research is to find a way to get cheap malaria diagnoses. The technique would help the people in rural Africa and Southeast Asia, where the disease kills hundreds of thousands of people and infects hundreds of millions every year.
He and his colleagues report that the test can be tailored to detect any disease for which the human body produces antibodies, including ovarian cancer and cancer of the large intestine.
"To get tested, all a person would have to do is put a drop of blood on the paper strip, fold it in half, put it in an envelope and mail it," Badu-Tawiah said. The study appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.