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Scientists Hack Cellphone To Detect Diseases

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the blue-blood dept.

Hardware Hacking 100

Dave Bullock (eecue) plugs his piece up at Wired on a cellphone modded into a portable blood tester. This could become a significant piece of medical technology. "A new MacGyver-esque cellphone hack could bring cheap, on-the-spot disease detection to even the most remote villages on the planet. Using only an LED, plastic light filter, and some wires, scientists at UCLA have modded a cellphone into a portable blood tester capable of detecting HIV, malaria, and other illnesses. Blood tests today require either refrigerator-sized machines that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or a trained technician who manually identifies and counts cells under a microscope. These systems are slow, expensive and require dedicated labs to function. And soon they could be a thing of the past."

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star trek isn't dead yet (5, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187083)

And thus the building blocks of the medical tricorder are laid.

tack on a portal ultrasound, xray , and micro MRI and maybe doctors bills will start to come down.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26187095)

"Obi-wan, give me a count of midichlorines in this child's blood..."

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26187239)

You must be new here. Episodes 1-3 were fake.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187313)

Nah, doctors will just spend more of their time on harder problems.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (2, Insightful)

toppavak (943659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187331)

Oh its quite dead, I assure you. Journalistic sensationalism, however, is apparently quite powerfully alive.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190277)

I worked on a project like this for General Dynamics. It used laser light to detect biological weapons in the air. I didn't understand precisely how it worked, because I was only responsible for creating the code, but when the laser passes through the air it scatters, and the scatter can be used to identify if it's a chemical weapon, a bioweapon, or just some passing dust.

It sounds like this cellphone works on the same principle, but using an LED instead of a laser.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26197059)

General Dynamics? Any sign of them changing their name to Massive Dynamics? ;)

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

badkarmadayaccount (1346167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209611)

Ah, but Netcraft hasn't confirmed it. You have much to learn, young grasshopper.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (3, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187381)

Not just the building blocks, but the first of many iterations. The compute power going into cell phones lately is pretty high and it won't be long before you can do much more. Imagine a small suitcase lab powered by a cellphone and a few accessories. It will cost less than those $100 laptops and do much more for poor communities. Imagine your $100 donation every year keeping 1000 in better physical health? Imagine....

With a bit of tech and a sat link, very expensive western doctors can very cheaply be part of the suitcase experiment that allows them to add their knowledge to a database of medical knowledge that builds the code for the first robotic doctor, or online third world doctor.

Software can be written that uses video analysis to identify visible symptoms if there is a picture of the patient when not sick. All that ear/nose/throat simple visual analysis can be done by a computer or a tech with medical computers etc. If a cell phone can do this much already, just wait.

Now, if Bill G were really interested in changing the world's health... perhaps he'd get on-board with this obvious idea. Who knows. He's got a lot of money.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188543)

first things first, I'm a wildly optismitic ST fan even in my least idealistic times.
thing is though, I do favour the future, not where technology rules, but where order rules.
don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a tricorder being able to instantly tell you, you have aids or a robodoc having the latest carnival / festival installed and telling you in the most life-like way, that you're terminal-
rockin'
have we just forgotten, that we should be concentrating on the federation first, before we pick up federation health care?

there are simple reasons why greater parts of the earth have these problems and there are solutions to these problems. but politics don't care (not even mr. yes-we-can).
apparently it's not just fun milking the nationally indigenious dry, we can do it to africa too.

the thin line between entertainment and war.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (3, Informative)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190655)

"Now, if Bill G were really interested in changing the world's health... perhaps he'd get on-board with this obvious idea. Who knows. He's got a lot of money."

For some reason, I was bored and just happen to watch the PowerPoint presentation on this thing last week on TV from Washington University. It was quite an impressive device, with many possibilities for multiple uses as part of the design criteria.
 
And the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation was a huge contributor.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26191797)

Oh damn, RTFA really is useful? ouch

Now, I think that all we need to do is search through all the ST episodes and movies (especially time travel ones) and see if anyone can spot Bill G anywhere.... hmmmmm or perhaps Melinda G. If Bill has used his money to build a time machine, or probably just got an email from himself telling him what he has to do to live long enough to build a time machine... yes, I like this plot. Can we get a fan site to put the plot out there ?

It has already begun (1)

Dragoon235 (1051296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26191423)

A friend of mine just launched a company to develop such a device. He's well on his way. The current team is assembling at Penn State.

http://www.mashavu.com/index.html [mashavu.com]

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188431)

or, come to europe, where we have healthcare for all. you'll still have to pay for liposuction though.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26189303)

Doesn't matter much tough. I saw a medical professor close to tears because of the state of competence and the medical industry.

Main problems:
  Doctors don't think "I don't know this (yet)." They think "There will never ever exist a solution to this". This is because of their god complex.
  Doctors don't care for the underlying cause. Most of the time, they "fix" your symptoms by giving you drugs. Of course if you don't take them forever, everything goes back to how it was before.
  Patients believe the crap their doctors tell them. They do net think for themselves. Most often, they don't even want the heal the cause. They love to be (neurotically) ignorant about it.
  Doctors and the health industry earn more money when there are more sick people, instead of when there are more healthy people (which is interestingly the model used in China).
  The whole pharma industry works like any other industry: The main (and often only) target is to maximize profit.
  Health insurance companies work that way too. So their target is to get the most in, and the least out. "Ideally", you pay, and they deny you everything.

I have to push my doctor real hard until he even considers doing any tests. It's nearly impossible to find the underlying cause because of him.
And I tried dozens of doctors. They are no different. Most of the time they weasel their way out by just prescribing you painkillers... that way it does not hurt while you fuckin' die.

If I had money, I'd create my own health insurance. Completely owned by the insured. One CEO who is completely alone, and responsible for updates to the program. The rest is a program, created by me. That program allows the insured to completely control the terms of their contract and change them, including the income of the CEO. They can fire the CEO too, or fork the company, electing a new CEO. The program would manage how the money would be spent, by calculating what the insured want to spend or have to spend, to be able to deliver what they want or need.
At least this is the basic idea of the project. I will have the quirks worked out before I have that kind of money anyway. ;)

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26189307)

Hmm... Slashdot replaces · HTML entities with spaces. :(

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26189779)

What you've just described is a mutual company. State Farm Auto Insurance works in this very way, as in I get a check at the end of the year if they took in more then they paid out in claims. Personally, I think healthcare should be universal. People claim it doesn't work and is quite expensive. It doesn't work and is expensive if you don't have the right processes and systems in place. Otherwise, it can be a very efficient system serving the citizens of whatever country it's in.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190271)

>>>come to europe, where we have healthcare for all.

You don't actually believe that healthcare is free, do you? You're still paying the hospital & doctor bills, same as we Americans do, but the bill is applied directly to your paycheck. So you're paying the same amount as we are, it's just a hidden bill.

Worse, you have no choice because it's a monopoly where all hospitals are run by the government (yes even the private ones which are strictly regulated by the politicians). That situation is as bad as if Microsoft sold all PCs. There's no freedom if there's no choice.

 

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (2)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190625)

uhhh,
maybe you shouldn't assume where I live. also, please don't assume words inbetween my words. I never talked of free, and never implied I lived in the UK.
but, seeing as you staggered down this path anyhow, I'll humor you.

nope, I don't actually believe healthcare is free. I do know, that anyone can get medical insurance in europe, no matter what their condition, pre-existing condition, income, belly-button size and anything else american insurance companies use to weed out who they insure and never pay healthcare for.
I'm a student living in germany and I pay something like 50 euros (of my own free accord) a month and can get any treatment I need - medical, rehab, psychology, psychiatry, dental, etc, etc - as can everyone else. insurance companies here usually don't pay for aesthetic surgery, if there's no actual medical need. which means fatties don't get liposuction (unless their life is in danger), but burn victims will get plastic surgery.

of course it's deducted from our paycheck. healthcare / insurance still costs money, duh. but no-one here dives into bankruptcy because of medical bills.
we pay like 1-5% of the scrips' total price, with an upper barrier (specifics unknown to me). the rest is paid by the gov't and/or teh insurance. hospital visits cost like 10 euros a day - if you want a phone and a tv in your room.

I love how yankee boys always rant on about freedom. yeah, I likes me mah freedoms too, but when it comes down to my health, the only choice I need is which doctor to go to. seeing as governments (well, I know of germany & uk from first hand experience) usually have strict "quality control" on their doctors and pay them boni for healing above average numbers (for instance getting people to stop smoking), then I'd much rather have the freedom to choose a country that motivates its doctors to heal people rather than keeping you in hospital, bleeding you dry, until you get the next ailment.
so, yeah, I'd gladly buy a "microsoft hospital", as their motivation and their quality is incredibly strict and they're actually interested in healing me and not bleeding my out.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26191125)

>>>maybe you shouldn't assume where I live. also, please don't assume words inbetween my words. I never talked of free, and never implied I lived in the UK.

I never said you live in the UK.
Learn to read.
You said "come to europe" implying you live somewhere in europe, and I responded to that. Government healthcare works about as well as the USA's Amtrak (i.e. slow, poor quality, and very expensive).

maybe you shouldn't assume so much (2, Informative)

boombaard (1001577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26191457)

Your "Facts" are wrong on so many levels it isn't even funny.
Please have a look at this pdf [pnrec.org] (which admittedly uses OECD data from AD 2000, so they might be somewhat outdated, but it will do to make my point)

On page 9 you'll see that public health spending (as a %age of total) is lowest in the US, (and highest in Sweden) and on page 10 you'll see that the total amount spent per person on healthcare in the US is nearly 73% higher than in the next country listed (Germany).
Next, if you have a look at the CIA World Factbook: (website isn't working here, so using wikisource [wikisource.org] )
and look at the figures for average life expectancy in the US compared to socialist Europe, the average in the US: about 74 (male) and 80 (female), whereas in Sweden, (which admittedly has better life expectancy than some EU countries, but i can't be arsed to find the median country) it's 78/82 years (2004 est)).
Additionally, the Infant mortality rates:
US: 6.63 deaths/1,000 live births
Swe: total: 2.77 deaths/1,000 live births

Sweden's per capita spending: less than 1700$
United States per capita spending: 4100$

Please show me how or why "government healthcare is bound to fail", or, alternatively, have a look at actual data.

(Disclaimer: since 2004 a number of european countries are reforming/considering reforms to health care funding, because it's inefficient in some ways. Nevertheless, the fact remains that health care spending here costs less than half of what it costs in the US.)

Re:maybe you shouldn't assume so much (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26192363)

>>>On page 9 you'll see that public health spending (as a %age of total) is lowest in the US,

Bravo! I consider that a great factoid, because government spending should be minimized. If you want a Lexus, use your own money. If you want a house, use your own money. If you want a new lung to replace your smoker's lung, then use your own money.

Stop making other people pay for your new car, house, or lung. That's theft of your neighbor's hard-earned money.

Re:maybe you shouldn't assume so much (1)

lamapper (1343009) | more than 5 years ago | (#26194287)

Good post and I hope that you are right as it looks like we are going this route with the new administration â" like it or not.

Two situations that come readily to mind that will cause nationalized health care to fail IMO: organ transplants and expensive surgeries...

any type of nationalized health care must depend on more than just our tax dollars...

Since the money we earn is ALREADY TAXED ONCE, I do not accept any system, like our current system, where we are taxed a second, third, fourth and fifth time...

Obvious problems would be corrupt politicians...

There should be NO SUCH thing as a PRE-EXISTING CONDITION.

This level of funding can never be reached by tax dollars alone! NEVER. Tax dollars + investment is the ONLY way!

Everyone learns at an early age that if you store up (save) when times are good for bad times (that eventually always come) that you have stability over the long term.

Our economy would already be pumping if they gave our tax dollars back to us instead of propping up failing businesses...

Another way to tell if your elected official is corrupt,...

Elected office was NEVER meant to be a full time job...

Please show me how or why "government health care is bound to fail", or, alternatively, have a look at actual data.

I cannot show you how it will fail and if we go down that road here in the US as it appears we are about to do, I sincerely hope it will not fail. Sadly our government is already failing as our founding fathers knew it might if people started voting themselves benefits. (Don't get me started on lobbyists.)

Two situations that come readily to mind that will cause nationalized health care to fail IMO are:

1) organ transplants, where people literally die waiting for an organ. In fact many individuals come from other countries to the US to secure an organ, because they are unable to live long enough in their home country until an organ is available. No need for me to cite, as I have read more than 4 articles of this type over the last year alone and it is not a new problem, you can search it. (Normally I would cite and include links, but I am in a hurry today, so sorry.)

2) very specialized and expensive surgeries (don't have a list of the types of surgeries, but have read articles of this type over the last year as well. Seems the best specialist in many areas can be found here in the US, where they have the opportunity to earn enough money to justify the significantly longer education (4+ to 8+ more years than a general physician â" already 6 years more than a Bachelors degree) and earn enough money to afford the more expensive mal-practice insurance. If a doctor goes to school for 10 years, that should be worth something more than me if I only go to school for four years. Also a surgeon, is it longer than 41 â" 18 years of school?, should be worth even more. If the reward is NOT there, than why would I want to do that work? Think self-actualization, this is NOT the Federation, wish it were! LOL, Money would have no value!

IMO opinion, to be successful any type of nationalized health care must depend on more than just our tax dollars (though I believe the FairTax would produce significantly more revenue while costing individual citizens less as it taxes currently untaxed but real underground economies in the US). Tax dollars alone as our current situation show will always fall short. If not by a down economy, than by an ever expanding appetite by our politicians (who are often driven by us, the citizens of the US).

I believe that a certain amount of our TAX money should be (heres the dirty word) "invested" for SOLELY that use. (It should be considered TREASON, punishable, fineable, jailable and possibly put in prison for life if violated...therefore no elected politician would DARE as they did with Social Security.) If the money is NOT used by an individual before they die, than the entire (100%) of the balance should be rolled over for another member of the family. If no members of the family exist, than the persons will should be honored and the proceeds donated accordingly.

Since the money we earn is ALREADY TAXED ONCE, I do not accept any system, like our current system, where we are taxed a second, third, fourth and fifth time...this is pathetic, anti-family, anti-American, anti-Freedom, anti-self-actualization (if that is even a word, you understand my meaning). The FAIRTAX would solve 8 of 10 of our most pressing social economic problems in this country...politicians don't like it because it takes some power out of their hands, thus both Republicans and Democrats tax and spend ways are curtailed. Nothing will prevent misuse of government funds, ie. Our tax dollars, this is why we must pay attention and vote for the right people. Currently both parties fall way short in this area. Funny that in any political race where the FAIRTAX issue is raised, the politician that is against it loses. Perhaps we are all not as stupid as the political parties believe we are...perhaps. Of course this is probably why the DEMs and REPs will not allow it out of committee where they have held it since 1996...did you know that? They will not let it come up to a floor vote in either the House or the Senate...this should piss you off! If you have a politician on either of those committees, let them know how you feel about them holding it up for over 12 years...

Obvious problems would be corrupt politicians (I apply this label to any politician that "plays politics" - regardless of their excuse for doing so - instead of representing the people that elected them to office. Look what happened to Social Security (and there are many, many other examples) ...benefits were expanded, additional issues were covered that were beyond the scope of original intentions of Social Security.

There should be NO SUCH thing as a PRE-EXISTING CONDITION. My insurance should remain in effect from the day I start working to the day I die. My personal, inviolable, account should be started the day I am born, funded the day I start working, if not sooner, from a portion of my tax dollars. The years that I am healthy fund the years were I am not, plain and simple. My fund can cover my kids until they start contributing...should my fund fall short after being used to help my kids, than their funds can replace what was borrowed when I need it.

People need to remember about investments, its not the income from this year or next year, year two or year three, etc... but rather its the return on my investment in year 20, 25, 30 where you finally start seeing significant money as a return. Thus if a family has been in America for more than 20 years, their descendants should be covered forever...there is no reason there should NOT be money.

This level of funding can never be reached by tax dollars alone! NEVER. Tax dollars + investment is the ONLY way!

The only person that should be able to do anything with those funds should be the individual within very specific and defined limits. i.e. I should be able to allow a percentage (not 100%) of my benefits to go to a designee of my choice for MEDICAL EXPENSES ONLY. I should never be able to donate beyond what I would need to survive given the actuary tables for me. This amount should be free available and known. (This is not rocket science as the current successful insurance business shows, they know the actuary tables work!) The money can NEVER be used for anything personal or otherwise except a medical condition...this is what it is for, its not a 401K, you should not be able to dip into it for anything but your personal medical care, except with the percentage above and beyond the amount you need based on actuary tables. And that money should only be used for a friend or family members health. Say an expensive procedure that is rare, but hey stuff happens. At the time of that persons death, whatever is left over, should be divided between your fund (if you donated to them) and their family funds.

Everyone learns at an early age that if you store up (save) when times are good for bad times (that eventually always come) that you have stability over the long term.

In this day and age, there should be âoebucketsâ that money is placed into for specific things currently covered by our tax dollars, some buckets for us, some for government. Heck if a condo association can do this with their fees, our elected politicians should be able to balance the budget.

All proceeds from the investment can ONLY be reinvested in your fund, this is what is for, nothing else. NO EXCEPTIONS. Eventually your individual fund would contain a large enough level of funding and investment that a lower level of funding from current tax dollars would be required to fund it based on actuary tables for you. Therefore over 10, 15, 20 years, there would be more tax dollars available for other government expenditures as your bucket / medical investment insurance account would be self sustaining. The amount of reinvestment MUST equal + 1% to 3% (so it always grows) more over and above the cost of living + the cost of inflation. (Something our government is going to cause all Americans over the next 7 â" 10 years when we hit double digit inflation if they continue to print money...). Obviously if you have more medical problems than another your tax dollars would need to fully fund your fund longer than another's...but you would NEVER be without health care.

Our economy would already be pumping if they gave our tax dollars back to us instead of roping up failing businesses and their failing business models. How else can newer, smarter, innovative businesses be given a chance. (A thought â" Companies use to hold cash for economic downturns, until the feared take-overs that would take the case more than survival...thus another failed business model. They use to hold inventories too, but not today.)

P.S. Another way to tell if your elected official is corrupt, have they ever 'attached' an unrelated rider to any legislation for any reason....probably covers 100%, even the honest ones as this is what they have to do to get things done....part of compromising most likely, which even their constituents might not approve of. However before you condemn them, think about it, perhaps they are compromising something you feel strongly about, in order to benefit you and your community in another way. There are honest politicians out there, however I believe the longer they are in office, the more they compromise, the more they are corrupted.

Elected office was NEVER meant to be a full time job. Our founding fathers thought of it as service. No elected official should have better health care than you or I have.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 5 years ago | (#26192305)

I guess you didnt see what I did there.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26191151)

>>>I love how yankee boys always rant on about freedom.

Actually it's about theft. You have a right to go to a doctor and get a new heart, lung, or whatever else you need, but you do NOT have a right to take the doctor's bill & demand the neighbors pay for it. Nor do you have a right to make them pay for your new Lexus. Or your new 100" television. Or new home.

Your neighbors' earned that money through the labor of their bodies, and it belongs to THEM. Forced removal of that money from their wallets is a violation of your neighbors' individual rights.

It's one thing to tax for the benefit of everyone (example: roads), but it's quite another to tax everyone just so ONE man can get a new heart, car, or television. That's just old-fashioned stealing.

So "private" healthcare isn't insurance? (2, Insightful)

boombaard (1001577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26191745)

Insurance, in law and economics, is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for a premium, and can be thought of as a guaranteed small loss to prevent a large, possibly devastating loss. An insurer is a company selling the insurance; an insured is the person or entity buying the insurance.

So you're saying this *does* apply to taxes and public healthcare, but not to private health care?
because it seems to me to be really, really arbitrary how you don't see one as stealing, but you do the other.
And considering that US per capita health care spending is more than double that of the other G7/European countries, (see my other comment in this thread if you like) I'd say you should care more about getting the care costs down, as that will automatically lower (the need for those idiotically high) premiums.
It's outright sad that one third to half the US doesn't have access to health care, and that (anecdotal point) "Free Clinics" can still charge you 200$ for their free services. (this was for an SF guy i know who needed an allergy prescription worth 20$)
And it's all made possible because of that weird fiction that health care is something special, rather than a basic right.
It allows doctors to charge more (although they also have to pay enormous tuition fees because of lack of government funding), insurers to require more (because people can opt out, there's less carrying power or whatever it's called, because of the reduced number of people paying into the system, which means the costs can be spread less), and so on.
imagine how much more affordable health care could be if spending was more in line with european spending.. you'd be able to keep healthy 60-80% more people easily at the same cost, people who then would also have smaller chances of contracting other illnesses (prevention is better than cure and all), who could work more (because they were healthier), and so on.

Choosing to have a partially-diseased workforce is stealing from your GNP just as much as other things are.. it just depends on how far ahead you're able/willing to look.

Re:So "private" healthcare isn't insurance? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26192381)

I meant what I said.

Taking your bill to the neighbors and making THEM pay for your new car, home, or heart is theft of your neighbors' money & labor. It makes you little better than the old plantation masters who lived off the work of the slaves.

Re:So "private" healthcare isn't insurance? (1)

tabrnaker (741668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26293795)

reciprocal reciprocity.

You animals who live in a vacuum need to learn about it.

Re: theaveng (1243528) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26192249)

I walk, i don't use the road only the sidewalk therefor a road is of no direct benefit to me. So you based on what you say you have stolen from me?

While i agree on the TV and Car, Health care (equal health care for all) I believe is a fundamental right we each should have.

Now you might want to look at how much money from taxes go to a universal Health care system that say a Canadian pays over their entire life time now look at how much you pay in insurance. Compare the two.

people need to remember that it is not only you income tax or sales taxes that make up the Gov. coffers.

to me the most important feature of a free health care system is if you just lost you job because of the economic slow down, and you missed you last insurance payment, and suddenly you kid gets a rare disease you don't have to worry if he is covered or not, you just take him to the nearest hospital and let the Dr. make him better.

Hell you could have 3 types of cancer and 10 different genetic disorders and you know what... you still covered... name on insurance deal would look at you? you never know what the future holds but if we each help each other well... then not even you will fall through the cracks, because the rich and easily become poor.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26193509)

Well by your logic, we should privatize the fire services, and bill homeowners thousands of dollars when their homes catch fire to put out the blaze, and put a lein on whatever remains of their home if they don't have insurance or can't afford to pay up.

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (1)

Zwicky (702757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198387)

It is interesting to note that this is indeed how it has been [fireservice.co.uk] (or with similar traits [wikipedia.org] (non-cooperative departments)) in the past, in some countries. Folks who had fire marks (insurance) on their homes were protected and the fire was dealt with. (Different companies had different badges/fire marks making the situation more troublesome).

Re:star trek isn't liposuction dead yet (1)

ImitationEnergy (993881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190693)

{Hmm; bait has my name written all over it. OK.} Unless some friendly neighborhood spiderweb-shooting fellow suddenly breaks from the pack of dociles refusing to accept that and charges up the hill attacking the Klingon Hospital's Board of Directors Dispatcher Brained Medical Community [askinventor.com] armed only with lots of oxygen [tinyurl.com] shooting loads of arrows after surrounding their wagons with 20 Bible translations saying they should
HELP THE OBESE AVOID CASCADING & MULTIPLIED DISEASE SYNDROMES LIKE: HEARTDISEASESLEEPAPNEAGOUTCAUSEDATHEROARTERIOSCLEROSISOVERWEIGHT INCREASEDSPINALSCOLIOSISCROWDEDRIBCAGEFLUIDRETENTIONRAISEDBLOODPRESSER (which last time I looked was their ~ahem bleep roast in hell for all time~ job to do anyway).

{NAW.} I must be caught in another one of my Cox DVR-induced parallel universe's time vortexes again [newpath4.com] . (Whew. Dodged another bullet from Doc Ock's henchmen Auntie Em Auntie Em.)

Re:star trek isn't dead yet (3, Insightful)

ruadatha (1161071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188651)

Doc bills won't ome down : the amount of time they spend on each patient will.

But... (0, Flamebait)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187097)

...would third-world nations have wires, a light filter and LEDs?

(then again, LEDs are something like < $1 each)

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187205)

Well, it's not like those countries are literally in the Stone Age. They're dirt-poor by Western standards, but they have access to some modern technology and can scrape together the money for relatively cheap stuff. (Unfortunately this includes Kalashnikovs.) As the West continues to develop cutting-edge technology, the standard for what kind of things the world's poor can afford rises. That is, nobody at all had LEDs until the 20th century.

Inventions like this raise the level of technology available to most of the world, and do more good for more people than (say) yet another model of iPod. One of the main things I've learned from studying history is that the maximum level of technology in a society is less important than the level that the masses have. Making things cheaper is one of the main ways in which technology has advanced; eg. iron is actually inferior to bronze in several ways, but is cheaper.

In fact, in some ways poor countries have had an opportunity to leapfrog the West. If your country has never had a copper-wire phone system, and you're just getting started with phones, you may as well start off with cell phones or fiber optics.

Re:But... (2, Interesting)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187411)

If you think this is exciting, wait until next month's article on how to turn an ordinary 7-color photo ink jet printer into a $119 DNA sequencing machine.

Of course, throwing out the old one and buying new will turn out to still be cheaper than buying refills for them.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26187681)

Wait a minute, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, Light Magenta, Black.

Damn. I forgot some Epson printers have Red and Green Cartridges.

You win this time, Velox!

Re:But... (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187987)

You forgot light black, and light light black.

Re:But... (1)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26192255)

Closer to $300 actually. Personally I've been pondering what it would take to use an inkjet to put etch-resist on a circuit board.

Re:But... (2, Interesting)

symes (835608) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187597)

In fact, in some ways poor countries have had an opportunity to leapfrog the West. If your country has never had a copper-wire phone system, and you're just getting started with phones, you may as well start off with cell phones or fiber optics.

That's an interesting point and something similar happened after world war two when Germany's obliterated industry got completely rebuilt with all the latest tech. But there's always the issue of who pays...

Regulation (0, Troll)

omb (759389) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187743)

Only you (American) idiots don't realize that you have regulation (eg fu.. cun.) on radio, TV and trying on Internet _BUT_ at the same time have the bigest set of crooks on Wall Street ... just Google for Wall Street Fraud, with no regulation whatsoever.

If you did not notice, the rest of the world is pissed, and we are clearly aware that it is not just George W Bush, it is YOU.

Fix it, but remember the world moves on anyway, eg Rome Portugal UK USSR ... USA?

Re:But... (1)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188081)

Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, Israel, Singapore, and Taiwan are rich, developing cutting edge technology, and are not geographically in the West.

I feel strange using "Western" to describe "1st world" areas now. I agree with your message completely though.

Re:But... (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26193053)

Inventions like this raise the level of technology available to most of the world, and do more good for more people than (say) yet another model of iPod.

One might argue that the incremental improvements in a commercial device, like an iPod, could lead to something useful like it did from yet another model of incrementally improved cell phone.

Re:But... (1)

vihung (85581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26199429)

Travel broadens the mind. Travel to those countries and find out for yourself instead of making cockeyed assumptions

slashdotters hack humungeous saline scrotums! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26187125)

I buy my saline kits from Chase Union Ltd in Movi, Michigan. The cost of a 1000 cc bag of sterile saline, drip tubing, sterile wipes (to wipe down your sac and all around) and catheter needle is with shipping around $25.
You can call them at +01 (248) 348-8191 and ask for item "MF 100" a scrotal inflation kit.

To do the saline, take the bag of saline and put in a microwave for about 5.5 minutes at low heat to warm to a bit above body temperature;about 100 degrees or so. Unwrap the outer plastic packaging and put the saline bag aside. Unwrap the drip tubing which comes with the kit and move the clamping system down toward the end opposite the vial type thing and CLOSE IT SHUT. Take the larger end of the drip tubing and uncap the protective cap........open the warmed bag of saline and remove the clear cap. Insert the drip tubing nozzle into the saline bag opening. Find a curtain rod, pot rack (which i have and use in the kitchen) shower rod or something elevated above you. Hang the bag of saline with the tubing attached and shut off. THEN VERY IMPORTANT. SQUEEZE SOME OF THE SALINE INTO THE VIAL ABOUT HALF WAY -THEN OPEN THE CLAMPING DEVICE AND BLEED ALL AIR OUT OF THE TUBING. YEAH YOU LOOSE A LITTLE BIT OF SALINE BUT THIS IS A MUST. YOU DON'T WANT ANY AIR OR AIR BUBBLES IN THE DRIP TUBING! REPLACE THE CAP ON THE WORKING END OF THE TUBING.

Before hand, while the bag of saline is warming either take a hot shower, or fill a basin or kitchen sink with very warm water sit in it for 4-7 minutes. The idea is to warm your ballsac skin up and let it get loose and hang.

When you have finished warming your sac, and you have the bag of saline (BLED FROM AIR), you are ready to grow.

With your sac still very warm use the wipes provided with the kit to wipe down your cock and ballsac. By the way, you will want an adjustable leather cock ring , nylon rope, or other type of removable cock/ball ring to wrap around cock and ballsac after inserting the catheter needle.

With you sac still warm and wiped down with antiseptics, sit in a chair with a towel underneath. Open the catheter needle don't get pansy here but with one hand, take the catheter needle and the teflon sheath that covers it and WITH THE OTHER HAND TAKE YOUR BALLSAC MOVING YOUR COCK OUT OF THE WAY AND DECIDE ON THE LOCATION OF THE INTENDED CATHETER NEEDLE. YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON THE AREA EITHER TO THE LEFT OR RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR BALLSAC AND UP CLOSE TO WHERE THE COCK CONNECTS. YOU PLACE THE CATHETER NEEDLE RIGHT BELOW THE COCK OR A LITTLE LOWER BUT TO ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER OF THE DARKER SKIN DIVIDING SKIN WHICH IS IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR SAC.

DON'T GET SQUEEMISH BECAUSE THIS DOES NOT HURT. BUT INSERT THE CATHETER STRAIGHT DOWN CAUTIOUSLY INTO YOUR SAC. MOVE YOUR TESTICLE ASIDE YOU ARE GOING TO GO INTO THE BALLSAC CAVITY NOT THE TESTICLE.

YOU WILL EXPERIENCE A PRICK SENSATION,THEN A POP SENSATION AS THE CATHETER NEEDLE PIERCES THE MUSCLE TISSUE OF THE SCROTUM.

KEEP PUSHING THE CATHETER NEEDLE IN. IF IT GOES IN AND YOU FEEL FROM THE OTHER/OPPOSITE SIDE OF YOUR BALLSAC THAT THE NEEDLE IS THERE, THEN STOP.

Pull out the needle itself leaving the teflon sheath inserted into you sac. Tie yourself (cock and balls) off with some sort of removable cock ring or rope or robe tie or whatever.

Sit down, don' t plan to move around too much for the next 30 minutes - hour. Have your beers/soft drinks or whatever already out of the fridge. You will want to stay idle and focused while you do this.

While sitting, and close to the hanging bag of saline and the drip tubing, remove the protective cover of the end of the drip tubing, connect the drip tubing to the catheter sheath in you sac. THEN START ADJUSTING THE CLAMPING DEVICE OPEN TO ALLOW SALINE DRIPPING TO APPEAR IN THE VIAL UP BY THE BAG OF SALINE. ADJUST FOR AN EVEN DRIP DRIP DRIP FLOW AND NOT A STEADY STREAM OF SALINE.

If the saline doesn't drip at first, try pulling the catheter sheath out a bit until you at first experience a small burning sensation;it goes away almost immediately.
Work on the sheath depth and the clamp until you get a good flow of saline going into your sac.

Don't move around too much......or be cognizant of how much you move around while the saline drips into and starts to bloat out your sac. You can always shut off the flow of saline with the clamp, disconnect and move around take a p, whatever......
If you disconnect, take the small stopper thing that is still attached to the needle and plug the teflon sheath to prevent leakage.

I like to use liquid vitamin E on my sac while it stretching and expanding;you should / can put oil or handcream on your sac while it is expanding. The sac is very stretchable but to expand up to 18-20 inches within an hour or so stresses the tissues,so things need to be lubricated somewhat..

GO SLOWLY.DON'T TRY TO REACH A MAX THE FIRST TIME. GO WITH WHAT YOUR BODY/SAC IS FEELING THEN STOP.

When you have finished doing the amount of saline you want to, feel comfortable with, can accept, close off the saline bag with the clamp, and disconnect.

Over filling/stress of the sac can cause osmosis leaking/sweating.. Do an amount of saline at first that is comfortable and not stressfull/hurting by all means. I have over done before and.you don't want to walk around with your sac dripping water out of it.and the after results cause chapping etc which takes a few days to peel and recover from.

Some of the saline is going to migrate into your cock. Your cock girth is going to become much larger than you have ever experienced.

AFTER YOU DISCONNECT FROM THE SALINE BAG, SIT AND WITH "SUPER GLUE", YES SUPER GLUE ON HAND, WITHDRAW THE CATHETER SHEATH.
AND WITH A TOWEL, PLACE SOME PRESSURE OVER THE HOLE THE NEEDLE CREATED......YOU MAY HAVE SOME BLOOD OR BLOOD MIXED WITH SALINE TRYING TO EXIT YOUR SAC! THEREFORE THE TOWELS

DON'T WORRY KEEP PRESSURE OVER AND DOWN ONTO THE HOLE FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES TO LET THINGS REST AND ANY BLOOD COAGULATE.

REMOVE THE "PRESSURE" TOWEL AND WITH SUPER GLUE, PLACE A FEW DROPS ON THE HOLE TO HOPEFULLY SEAL IT UP QUICKLY. KEEP THE COCK RING OR EQUIVALENT ON DURING THIS AND CONTINE TO LUBE YOUR SAC.

IF ALL IS GOING VERY WELL, IN A COUPLE OF MINUTES, YOUR SAC AND THE HOLE IS SEALED AND YOU ARE DONE.

IF ALL THINGS ARE NOT GOING WELL, YOU MIGHT NOT GET A GOOD SEAL THE FIRST TIME JUST PEAL OFF THE SUPER GLUE RESIDUE AND START OVER.

At first your sac will be very tight,but over the next few hours or over night, keeping the cock ring on less tightly or without a cock ring your sac will relax and begin to stretch.

The saline will take a couple of days or more to absorb into you body. That is okay,Saline is sterile water adjusted to normal body PH.

Enjoy it, flaunt it if you are inclined, watch the perm stretch and sac tissue growth that happens over time.

You will need to p a little more often than regular as the saline absorbs into your body, but just enjoy the weight and feel of what is between your legs.

I hope this helps....If your nuts and sac are normally pretty big or even small and you want more, this will blow you away with the results.

Take care
Read the rest of this comment...

Re:slashdotters hack humungeous saline scrotums! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26187649)

[original research]

How it works (4, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187139)

If anyone is wondering how exactly this works, or wants to build their own, they might want to check out this Weekend Project [youtube.com]

Basically, if you've got a (near-)point source of light, and transmit it through the sample, there is only one path of light from the light, through a point in the sample, to a pixel on the sensor, so you don't need a lens. The farther away you place the sample and the closer you place the light source, the larger the image appears (but then you also need to progressively use a better, closer to a true point source light).

I imagine this could work very well with a naked silicon laser diode, since they appear as damn tiny, near point sources of light.

Re:How it works (4, Interesting)

toppavak (943659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187295)

It may work, but its completely useless from a diagnostics standpoint. Knowing the size of a cell is useless, especially with the resolution and sensitivity a cell phone camera could provide. Past publications from this lab show no reliable size discrimination below 15 microns, so even if it were useful information, it would be useless for human cell samples of which nearly all interesting species are smaller than or border this threshold. Sub-cellular resolution might help you do something like malaria diagnostics, but the amount of sample that needs to be analyzed and the magnification level you would need to be able to discriminate the plasmodium within a red blood cell are so high that, surprise, you're so much better off using a $100 microscope.

Re:How it works (2, Informative)

toppavak (943659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187395)

To elaborate on the inadequacy of this technique for malaria diagnostics, for example, the Poisson statistics indicate that a reliable diagnosis requires the analysis of about 2 microliters of blood. Now this doesn't seem like much except that 2 microliters of blood contains 10-14 million red blood cells. In order to just have all of those cells on the sensor while able to discriminate between adjacent cells that means you'd need at least a 90-megapixel camera on which to smear your blood sample. Now if you wanted to reliably detect a malaria infection, you would obviously need a lot more than 1 pixel per cell so the magnitude of the problem increases exponentially from there.

Re:How it works (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188545)

Which, incidentally, is probably pretty close to what the cell phone + mods probably cost.

Re:How it works (2, Interesting)

toppavak (943659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188637)

Even if your point were valid, the microscope works, this gadget doesn't. You can reliably detect things like tuberculosis and malaria using a microscope, and if its a fluorescence model you could even do CD4+ T-cell counts manually. This cell-phone doohicky is incapable of all of those, or even of anything remotely medically relevant. As for your point, though, the w810i that they used in their contraption has a list price of about $200, still without managing to deal with the little problem that it.doesn't.work.

Re:How it works (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188937)

Yes, I was agreeing with you. As in, the microscope costs no more than the cell phone, and is actually useful.

Re:How it works (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188959)

My apologies, I misread your reply.

How about attching web-camera to microscope ? (1)

S3D (745318) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190269)

Essentially the same idea (web camera is even in TFA, without microscope tough). Or may be only web camera sensor. After that make a count with some blob detector [wikipedia.org] , or some more complex pattern recognition soft. Of cause PC+camera+microscope would cost 3-4 times more than just microscope, but you wouldn't need qualified medic to operate it, and it would be faster too.

Re:How it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26190241)

I suggest you read some recent articles on lucas technology.
it yields much more information than just the size of the cell.
the recorded quantities are transmission holograms of the cells, which contain the phase and the amplitude information of the cells.
so it is quite powerful to even detect small bacteria such as e. coli.
I am not sure where you got the impression that it can not do any better than 15 um.
it can easily go down to a micron. FYI.
http://www.rsc.org/publishing/journals/LC/article.asp?doi=B813943A [rsc.org]
http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/21439/ [technologyreview.com]
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121401991/abstract [wiley.com]

Re:How it works (1)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190719)

I don't think the descriptions presented here do the device justice. I just happen to catch the PowerPoint presentation from the University of Washington on TV. The device uses chemical pathways printed on a plastic card by a standard ink jet kind of printer. A drop of blood is put in that card, and by 'pumping' the blood around the card it can heat-cycle samples (I think this was some sort of DNA amplifier), It also had membrane 'grids' for spectro type analysis, as well as pass the sample through optical observation stations (for sizing things). It provides 2 different diagnostic tests and results for each test performed (about 6 per card), to insure both results agree.

I am not a medical student by any means, yet in this 1 hour PowerPoint I understood how the device was going to work and why and it was brilliant. The guy explained how it was going to cost less than $200 so poor countries could afford it, and why it worked in 10 minutes v. 10 hours for current technology.

It was hugely funded in part by that evil man who wants to take over the world. What's his name? Oh yeah, Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.

Re:How it works (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26188457)

HUH?

Now, I'm totally confused!
Is this a cellphone saline drip, or some scrutum LED analysis tool?

Heavens! /. is indeed getting more and more confusing!
But I DID notice that the poor drip-troll fellow could not spell "squeamish" correctly...

Well then that's it! (4, Funny)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187177)

We need to stop worrying about ending hunger there and start getting every last one of them a cell phone!

Interesting comment on Wired's website (4, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187179)

Posted by: jamesdionne:

I call bullshit on this one. First off, HIV can be tested for by an ELISA method which is way cheaper than a cell phone camera. And the quality of other lab results are the most important function of those "refigerator" sized analyzers, not because of cost but because you can kill way more people with inaccurate results than with no results at all. I could shine a flashlight at a blood smear and take a good guess at your H&H too, but I wouldn't trust my life to it.

I agree.

Bullshit (5, Informative)

toppavak (943659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187249)

A. It can't detect HIV. No imaging technology short of electron microscopy can directly detect the virus itself and even electron microscope would be a retarded way to attempt diagnostics.

Even the original paper describing this technology showed that they have no sub-cellular resolution and even their size resolution was extremely unreliable for anything smaller than 15 microns... which all interesting human cells are (even if you could tell what size cells are you've accomplished.... nothing).

If they are suggesting they can do CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts they're either idiots, ignorant or both. There is no morphological distinction between a CD4+ and a CD4- T-lymphocyte. Even using fluorescence imaging (which they aren't) you have to be able to look at two colors of fluorescence (CD3 label to check to see if its a lymphocyte and a CD4 label to see if its CD4+) immunofluorescence is way too weak to be detected by a cell phone camera, especially a color sensor with 2 micron pixels. The CD4 antigen is never expressed at levels greater than approximately 50,000 / cell, the detection limit of a 5 micron pixel monochrome sensor (the bayer mask makes you lose about 30% of your light) is close to about 150,000 molecules. The bayer mask also makes your sensor pretty much useless for analytical applications, you're screwed if your green-fluorescent cell is centered over a red or blue-sensitive pixel which would happen in, oh, 66% of your pixels.

You run into almost identical sets of problems with every other so-called "application" of this "technology" so, yeah, bullshit.

IAABME.

Re:Bullshit (4, Funny)

PolarBearFire (1176791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187321)

Dude stop it, you're gonna blow some conniving scientists's grant money.

Re:Bullshit (2, Funny)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187435)

Yes but I believe you forgot the CDx5 aphysical dipole bacterium, usually called "Bull" for its similarity to same, which is so small that it actually lives *within* molecules. These new scanners are able to detect levels of the excretions of these Bull, and plot them against known levels during infections of certain diseases. Scientists are still trying to figure out a name for these excretions, but suffice it to say the obvious choice was not picked for obvious reasons.

Re:Bullshit (1)

harkabeeparolyn (711320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190087)

Yes but I believe you forgot the CDx5 aphysical dipole bacterium, usually called "Bull" for its similarity to same, which is so small that it actually lives *within* molecules.

+1 Funny if I could.

Re:Bullshit (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187755)

Below is an HIV test that will NEVER give a false negative. So it's not bullshit. This light thing can really work, just as homeopathy "works".

HIV Tester: You have HIV.

Re:Bullshit (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26190009)

Yeah, but are you positive?

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26191141)

I'm not only sure....I'm HIV positive!

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26190267)

hmm, I again suggest that you carefully read some of the recent articles on lucas before stating a misleading argument.
these issues are all discussed in a scientific setting regarding the feasibility of lucas for various applications that you commented.

especially check these links:
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121401991/abstract [wiley.com]
http://www.rsc.org/publishing/journals/LC/article.asp?doi=B813943A [rsc.org]

i am not going to repeat the same arguments listed in these papers.
i hope it clarifies/clears your misunderstanding/bias.

Re:Bullshit (2, Interesting)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190771)

No your bullshit. You are basing your conclusions on a stupid wired magazine article that was written for consumer consumption. The device does RNA/DNA amplfications on a credit card sized piece of platic (replacing the refrigerators) as well as flourecense tests you talk about, and a bunch of other test also. I saw the presentation on Washington University TV and it is quite real.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26191085)

You're just jealous he got such an obvious pun first. It's a cell phone. ehhh? anyone?

Alternate Device Name (4, Funny)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187261)

"UCLA researcher Dr. Aydogan Ozcan images thousands of blood cells instantly by placing them on an off-the-shelf camera sensor and lighting them with a filtered-light source (coherent light, for you science buffs)."

So instead of Occam's Razor, this is Ozcan's RAZR?

Re:Alternate Device Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26188331)

You sir, are a fucking genius. Seriously. I'd love to see your work as a writer for a sitcom. Beats most of the crap that passes for comedy these days.

Obligatory (0, Redundant)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187379)

...but does it run *nix?

This is great news! (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187401)

Now my next gen iPhone will be able to tell me *precisely* when it causes my brain cancer.

So what diseases.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26187447)

..did the cellphone have?

Reware projects (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26187455)

Here's the big BIG thing that is going to hit mainstream radar soon, though I haven't even seen much tech punditry as usual this year, with everyone so deflated over the economy, but I bechya this is going to be massive over the next few years. Re-waring / re-purposing, whatever you call it, basically a new layer and second wind to technology in developed AND developing countries. People stop building things from scratch, it's more expensive than reuse. Just make small mods.

For a decade or more, we've been producing basically general purpose computers disguised as specific function devices, like phones, pda and suchlike. This is the first fruits of tech convergence coupled with a tightening economy and environmental reluctance to dispose in landfills. Such industry will emerge based around unique, perculiar, creative repurposing of hardware en-masse, it becomes inevitable. Out of nowhere will come cellphones transformed into musical instruments, alarm clocks, intruder detectors, baby monitors, health aides, point to point walkie talkies, and from that ad-hoc userland communication networks that will eventually bypass and replace the telco choke point/gatekeeper model (In other words expect much development to be resisted and made "illegal" by vested interest groups under the cry of "health, safety and security".) But that will do nothing to stop this enevitable shift that prevailing conditions invite. Basically we have a situation of commodity hardware. The raw materials are zero cost (would already be in a landfill if the manufacturers had their way) and are easy to jailbreak/unlock and retask. There's something like 2 or 3 discarded cellphones to every person on Earth right now. Objects that cost less than a skilled hour of salary, can be retasked in seconds with firmware flashing and combining via USB or wifi networks. Certain models of things are obviously going to become really popular because they can be more easily rewared, their second hand value will rise again.

Re:Reware projects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26189423)

Obviously you don't get the society you live in.
That's too smart to actually happen.
We don't repurpose, we don't hack, we consume.

Besides, imagine offering guarantees over something like that or the obvious lawsuits that are going to pop up. Or even the lack of profit in doing that for any major producer of *cellphones/pdas/whatever*.

Maybe I am thoroughly wrong, better yet, I hope I am.

Plus... (4, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187459)

When it test's a patient positive for HIV, it plays a polyphonic ringtone of 'Always looks on the bright side of life'

No, it plays.... (1)

SpeedyGonz (771424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188407)

The family guy theme of:

You have AIDS!
(Yes you have AIDS)
I hate to tell you boy but you got AIDS...

Forget HIV, Malaria is enough to make this cool (5, Insightful)

Neuticle (255200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187553)

I can see this possibly evolving into something that would be able to detect malaria infections, malaria is pretty big and easy enough to spot with good magnification and a little bit of training. Parasite laden blood cells are often chock-full of little plasmodium, so they would definitely have different optical properties in this kind of system. This could also probably do a reliable job of some basic blood values like hemoglobin levels, where the item in question has strong, distinct light-absorbing properties, but it won't come close to replacing an actual lab: there are too many things that just don't interact enough or interact distinctly enough with light to be measured that way, even if you had a lab-quality variable-frequency light source.

HIV, however, is a virus, and can not currently be detected or diagnosed microscopically (barring electron microscopes), so I'm a bit skeptical on that point. Besides, we have antibody tests that are cheap, effective and (thanks to foreign aid) available even in the poorest, most remote areas. The problem with testing for HIV is not detecting it, it's getting people tested. There is still a HUGE stigma around it, and people are (often with good reason) worried about the privacy of tests. If this guy has figured out how to detect and, more importantly, identify viruses using light microscopy, he'll be up for a Nobel prize, but I highly doubt that is the case. It's more likely that Wired just embellished the story a bit, which I think is unnecessary since even being able to quickly and reliably detect just parasites in the blood like malaria, leishmaniasis or trypanosomes would be a big help for many in the developing world.

I spent 2 years living in remote, rural Tanzania and some of the clinics near me diagnose malaria in every blood smear they see, because they don't have someone well trained enough to examine the blood, or they don't actually have a functioning microscope (they are freaking expensive, very fragile and hard to get out in the boonies) so they err on the side of caution. Even though they are probably correct a good percentage of the time, people were often "diagnosed" with malaria when they had none of the symptoms: Malaria gets the blame for nearly every ailment. This leads to overuse of anti-malarial drugs, which leads to drug-resistance. I also saw anemia being diagnosed very frequently as well, with out any way to properly test for it. It was the second most popular target for any ailment. "Anemic" people are encouraged to eat a substance made from red clay. It probably has plenty iron so it could actually help and probably can't do any harm, but it tasted about like you would expect dirt to taste.

To make my point: if this all this could do was detect malaria and hemoglobin levels, at even 10x the cost of a cell phone, but as portable and as durable as a cell phone (relative to a microscope that won't survive a car ride), it would make a sizable impact for a lot of people.

Star Trek Inovation (1)

billy901 (1158761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187741)

This makes me think of all the good medical advances that came straight out of Star Trek. Like the air needle thing where you just shoot it at someone's arm and the stuff goes in their arm through air pressure. Something similar to that is being developed to help prevent the spread of HIV. And I'm sure you have all seen something similar to this cell phone blood tester in every single sci-fi film.

Re:Star Trek Inovation (1)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26193623)

Those "air needle things" were around long before Star Trek. A lot of polio vaccine was injected this way back in the early 60's.

Re:Star Trek Inovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26206303)

Do not squirt pressurized air into people's arms. They will die.

Thank you.

Using only an LED? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26187943)

Shouldn't that be "Using only a LED"?

Re:Using only an LED? (1)

lebscorpio (1368825) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188071)

Well it depends on how you're saying it. You could say: "only a led" or pronounce the words as initials, then it would be "only an el ee dee". (Yeah, I don't know how to use those horrible phonetic things in a dictionary)

Re:Using only an LED? (2, Interesting)

story645 (1278106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26189161)

lebscorpio answered, but the geeky grammar explanation is that use of a and an is tagged to phonetics, not letters, so a gets used for a consonant sound and an when for a vowel sound.

In this case:
an 'cause commonly LED is read as el-ee-dee, (probably non accurate phonetic spelling) and el is a vowel sound.

20 year old technique (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26188145)

this was done 20 years ago with film. and a roll of film alot cheaper then a 2 megapixel camera. oh course getting it developed....
 

Re:20 year old technique (2, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188327)

A roll of film is not reusable.

...but then reality sets in (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188173)

You wouldn't legally be able to use this in the U.S. because it would be a HIPAA violation to transmit health information over an unsecured channel. It does allow for SSL-level encryption, however.

BTM

Re:...but then reality sets in (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190731)

Quite aside from the fact that in 90% of hospitals it's not permitted to use mobile phones anyway.

Reminds me of nintendo ekg monitors (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188453)

Old NES consoles were equipped with an EKG cartridge that ran the software. Inputs were from sensors on the patient's body plugged into the controller ports. The display was any old TV they could get their hands on. Power on the console, power on the TV, el cheapo EKG that worked just fine.

Torrent Please! (3, Insightful)

morriscat69 (807260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26189271)

Software like this, especially software like this, needs to be shared.

For the good of mankind.

And before anyone says a word about IP or profit motive, take a few minutes to think about how unchecked/unrealistic profit motive has lead the US and world economy.

Yes, the inventors/innovators (yup, that means the grad students as well professor) of this should make a tidy profit. This should not preclude non-profit use, and especially not preclude open discussion of how to make such potentially live saving technology better.

Its time for med-tech (and pharma) to come out of greed's dark ages.

Fail. Didn't say the magic word. (2, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26189769)

If only they have used the magic "iPhone" incantation this would have been a success.
Like they did here. [slashdot.org] Not very scientistie.

Just compare these two titles.

"Scientists Hack Cellphone To Detect Diseases" and "Scientists Hack iPhone To Detect Diseases"

Can't you see just how much cooler the one on the right is?
No? Hmm...
Did you try crossing and uncrossing your eyes or viewing it on an iPhone screen?
It looks MUCH cooler on an iPhone...

Re:Fail. Didn't say the magic word. (1)

Raleel (30913) | more than 5 years ago | (#26191113)

The irony of this is that as this article was being posted, I was talking about how close the iPhone was to a tricorder on a plane with the guy next to me. I checked slashdot when I got off the plane and LOLed on the spot in the airport. Weird coincidence.

a good excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26189817)

So now if I catch my girlfriend with her mobile phone vibrating ...down there, she can claim it is just for 'medical reasons' (just running some tests...)

Much Better Info (1)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190835)

There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about how this thing works. I can only assume the misinformation comes from the wired article which I can not read (slashdotted?).

Anyhow here are some links I found on google;
http://uwnews.washington.edu/ni/article.asp?articleID=3045 [washington.edu]
http://www.rsc.org/publishing/journals/AN/article.asp?doi=b705672a [rsc.org]
http://www.rsc.org/delivery/_ArticleLinking/DisplayHTMLArticleforfree.cfm?JournalCode=LC&Year=2008&ManuscriptID=b811158h&Iss=Advance_Article
http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.bioeng.10.061807.160524

I googled 'Washington university blood analyzer DxBox'

The research is lead from Washington University, with grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is apparently 'Open technology', and is currently called DxBox (a play on Microsoft xbox since BillG is funding a lot of the work).

Android Operating System (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26191685)

They should just get Android,

int SENSOR_TRICORDER A constant describing a Tricorder When this sensor is available and enabled, the device can be used as a fully functional Tricorder. 64 0x00000040

It's got the tricorder function already :D

Neat phone, but.... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#26192919)

This is a neat idea, but wouldn't it be more practical to have made it as a USB device?

    It should be a simple enough matter to make one. The hard part is the software. I don't suppose this is open sourced, is it?

    A field tech with a laptop and USB device could test samples of thousands of people. This phone method appears very kludgy. A properly configured setup would easily be able to tie in with a centralized database to not only evaluate the samples, but provide statistical information on the spread or current infected areas. The field tech would already be aware of what problems may exist in the area, and then he'd simply be finding out who needs isolation and treatment.

    If they open sourced the software, I could (in theory) run to the store today, modify a camera with an LED and filter, and test anyone who wanted to give a sample. It would go from "I got to the doctor once a year for a physical" to "I do my own bloodwork at home, and go as soon as there is a problem."

Hang on a minute bob i have another call (1)

flyingpastor (1436913) | more than 5 years ago | (#26200981)

.... oh wait... it was just my phone telling my I have aids.
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