Recent outbreaks like Zika and Ebola highlights the challenges associated with pathogen diagnostics in the developing world. With the outbreak in Africa, and isolated cases on other continents, the need for an affordable, rapid and portable diagnostic solution has been repeatedly stressed and is one of the most critical issues confronting global health. Unfortunately, the current conventional PCR instrumentation needed to perform gold standard DNA-based diagnostic tests is bulky, slow, and expensive, making it unsuitable for resource-limited settings in developing countries where dedicated laboratory facilities are not available. Advances in micro-fluidics and smartphone based technology has paved way for novel implementations of traditional molecular diagnostic techniques. We present a series of advances in molecular diagnostic techniques by harnessing convective flow to actuate biochemical reactions.