Author Topic: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests  (Read 2956 times)

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Offline nuclearcat

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Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« on: September 05, 2020, 03:02:51 pm »
I noticed among friends' discussions that they are talking about digital pregnancy tests.
In my opinion, this is just awful, to use electronics just to read strips. Pure show off "its digital" (1)
As far as i know each produced electronic circuit create huge amount of chemical waste. Why to pollute our planet for such silly reasons?

1. There is opinion it is improving readability https://twitter.com/peterktodd/status/1302117569655189504
What do you think about such "devices"?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 05:02:01 pm by nuclearcat »
 

Offline Kean

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2020, 04:38:02 pm »
This was likely brought about by the teardown twitter thread by foone.
https://twitter.com/Foone/status/1301707401024827392

In general I agree they seem pretty wasteful, not that my wife or I have ever had a need to use one sadly.

Foone & Naomi Wu posted later updates giving some valid reasons for the existence of single use digital pregnancy testers, especially once considered from the positions of a female and other factors - vision impairment, education, etc.
https://twitter.com/Foone/status/1301838969508737024

Surely it wouldn't be very hard to redesign these single use electronic devices into multi-use with some kind of refill that still keeps it reasonably hygienic.  They could likely make more profit on a slightly more expensive upfront purchase with overpriced refills, and still create less waste.
 

Offline nuclearcat

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2020, 04:59:55 pm »
This was likely brought about by the teardown twitter thread by foone.
https://twitter.com/Foone/status/1301707401024827392

In general I agree they seem pretty wasteful, not that my wife or I have ever had a need to use one sadly.

Foone & Naomi Wu posted later updates giving some valid reasons for the existence of single use digital pregnancy testers, especially once considered from the positions of a female and other factors - vision impairment, education, etc.
https://twitter.com/Foone/status/1301838969508737024

Surely it wouldn't be very hard to redesign these single use electronic devices into multi-use with some kind of refill that still keeps it reasonably hygienic.  They could likely make more profit on a slightly more expensive upfront purchase with overpriced refills, and still create less waste.
Good point.
She also mentioned very important point: in some cases privacy required. E.g. frightened teen dont want to expose to parents she have sex life.
Universal (and reusable) portable ELISA reader that can be handy also to check food contamination, test for various diseases and etc, so it might be still option to have and still can preserve privacy and wont ring bells.
For example each test can have small barcode that will give hint what kind of test inserted and what to look for (some need spectrometry, some just intensity), test, to prevent device contamination is inserted in disposable transparent cartridge.
 

Offline Kean

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2020, 07:04:01 pm »
There are very similar test strips mounted in cassettes for detecting all kinds of things.  I think I've seen them for detecting food poisoning or allergens, various pesticides, pregnancy, ovulation, colon cancer, etc.  Even COVID-19 now: https://www.surescreen.com/products/covid-19-coronavirus-rapid-test-cassette

They can be used "manually", but as you say most just need a simple image sensor of some kind to detect whether bars appear in the appropriate places for a valid positive or negative reading.  A mini spectrometer can be also added but still adds a fair bit to the cost, although far less than it used to.  You just need a barcode reader to read the barcode or QR code on the cassette which encodes detection type and expiry date, and you can make a reasonably low cost and widely useful rapid diagnostic device.

Similar machines already exist for certain testing industries, just not for consumers.  I've actually consulted on building such a machine.  Once you design a sexy enclosure, add electronics & touch screen, software for UI and "image" processing, test and calibration procedures, build marketing, support, and distribution channels... you suddenly have a product that costs many thousands of dollars each.  A long way from where we started with a single use pregnancy test for a few bucks.

It is actually incredible that these disposable pregnancy tests can include the electronics and still be so cheap.  It just happens to be a market that has the sales volume and people willing to spend a few dollars more for a "premium" product.
 

Offline Siwastaja

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2020, 08:14:11 am »
I'm concerned about the fact that people who can't read, understand and follow simple instruction in form of "wait two minutes", are having unprotected sex.
 
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Offline sokoloff

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2020, 09:17:19 am »
She also mentioned very important point: in some cases privacy required. E.g. frightened teen dont want to expose to parents she have sex life.
How does the addition of electronics to a single use test aid this angle?
 

Offline sokoloff

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2020, 09:18:47 am »
I'm concerned about the fact that people who can't read, understand and follow simple instruction in form of "wait two minutes", are having unprotected sex.
I would imagine some number of these tests are taken after the failure of protection used.
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2020, 01:59:53 am »
Any reason they couldn't make a version with disposable test strips and a reusable reader, like a blood glucose tester?
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Offline coppice

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2020, 02:06:33 am »
I'm concerned about the fact that people who can't read, understand and follow simple instruction in form of "wait two minutes", are having unprotected sex.
I guess you've never used one of the non-electronic testers. Sometimes you get really bold blue lines. Sometimes they are vaguer. Depending whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result its easy to look at a strip showing a weak result, and put your hopes and aspirations into interpreting the result.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2020, 02:08:55 am »
Any reason they couldn't make a version with disposable test strips and a reusable reader, like a blood glucose tester?
Apart from a small number of people desperate for a baby and failing, who uses a pregnancy tester often enough for that to be great product?

If you want to worry about waste from one time use electronics, look at musical greetings cards. Those things are made by the billion.
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2020, 06:05:55 am »
I remember that BigClive tore down a couple of "single use powerbanks". Essentially normal fully charged powerbanks without charge circuity...  |O
At least those were a cheap source for lithium batteries  :P
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2020, 10:27:29 pm »
Apart from a small number of people desperate for a baby and failing, who uses a pregnancy tester often enough for that to be great product?
It wouldn't be that much a change from the current product, just a simple way to release the test strip and insert a new one.
I remember that BigClive tore down a couple of "single use powerbanks". Essentially normal fully charged powerbanks without charge circuity...  |O
At least those were a cheap source for lithium batteries  :P
Or a cheap way to dispose of the rejects that nobody else wants.
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2021, 04:27:39 am »
If you don't think it can get any worse, take a look at a "smart" COVID-19 tester:

A lot of complexity and basically no advantages, plenty of disadvantages...
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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2021, 09:55:29 pm »
Well, you can sell those devices for much more while the added cost for the manufacturer is in the order a a couple dollars or so. The margins are huge. And yes, they look more technological and thus better or more accurate to the end-users. What's not to like from a manufacturer's point of view? That's all there is to it.

And yes they are a complete waste. All the more that the electronic part is not reusable, and will be thrown away, with a battery that also still holds most if its capacity.
 

Offline Bobertsawesome

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2021, 01:28:02 am »
I think even worse are the single-use vape pens. Use lithium batteries which are then chucked in the bin. Imagine how much precious metal this adds up to over the course of 1 year wasted?

 
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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2021, 07:25:31 pm »
I think even worse are the single-use vape pens. Use lithium batteries which are then chucked in the bin. Imagine how much precious metal this adds up to over the course of 1 year wasted?

Wow, I wasn't even aware of them. That's awful.
 

Offline AVGresponding

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2021, 05:26:00 am »
I think even worse are the single-use vape pens. Use lithium batteries which are then chucked in the bin. Imagine how much precious metal this adds up to over the course of 1 year wasted?

Wow, I wasn't even aware of them. That's awful.

It is disgraceful. On the other hand it is a useful source of cheap Li cells for those of us in the know... credit to Big Clive @bigclivedotcom for alerting me to this a few years back...
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Offline coppice

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2021, 01:55:28 pm »
Because those who want to not be pregnant are predisposed to read a slightly faint blue line as "Not pregnant", and those who do want to be pregnant are predisposed to read a very faint blue line as a clear one, an unambiguous display of "PREGNANT" or "NOT PREGNANT" is a real benefit. However, what is the point of having a full OLED graphics display on a device like this. Is it necessary to be able to say pregnant in a hundred languages with a single device?
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Single use electronics / digital pregnancy tests
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2021, 07:54:12 pm »
Quote
Is it necessary to be able to say pregnant in a hundred languages with a single device?

Could be. Economies of scale, and all that. Build one device and flog it everywhere instead of a custom one for each market, and if you happen to overestimate demand in, say, Indonesia you can ship the kits to Albania and flog 'em there instead.
 


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