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Use Your Cell Phone To Diagnose Blood Diseases

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the can-you-diagnose-me-now dept.

Medicine 63

A group of research engineers at Berkeley have developed a mobile phone microscope that can photograph microbes in your blood, and analyze them for disease. The group hopes the device will be useful to doctors in developing countries to diagnose blood diseases in the field. The device uses a phone attachment with an LED, and magnified images are fed into the cell phone camera. Software installed on the phone analyzes bacterial counts, or the images can be sent to labs for quick analysis. UC Berkeley bioengineer Dan Fletcher led the CellScope research team. He said, "The same regions of the world that lack access to adequate health facilities are, paradoxically, well-served by mobile phone networks. We can take advantage of these mobile networks to bring low-cost, easy-to-use lab equipment out to more remote settings . . . We had to disabuse ourselves of the notion that we needed to spend many thousands on a mercury arc lamp and high-sensitivity camera to get a meaningful image. We found that a high-powered LED — which retails for just a few dollars — coupled with a typical camera phone could produce a clinical quality image sufficient for our goal of detecting in a field setting some of the most common diseases in the developing world."

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A cheap simple diagnostic tool.. (1, Interesting)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809025)

if it works as advertized. Hmmm...

Re:A cheap simple diagnostic tool.. (0)

HalifaxRage (640242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809053)

But can it detect midi-clorians?

Re:A cheap simple diagnostic tool.. (1)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809129)

No, you have to pay the Jedi Knights Ltd. (TM) additional for that ap.

Re:A cheap simple diagnostic tool.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28809735)

Finally... I can prove my blood contains a high count of midi-chlorians!

Re:A cheap simple diagnostic tool.. (4, Funny)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809563)

There's an app for that.

Re:A cheap simple diagnostic tool.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28809151)

Old news is so exciting! The tricorder tag was even used on the original article! Woo!

Re:A cheap simple diagnostic tool.. (1, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809795)

Until Glaxo or some other company like that buys the patent and makes sure it never sees the light of day again so they can keep making over priced, expensive to maintain peices of equipment to us. Its silly to think they'll let their pocket padding business go away any time soon.

Re:A cheap simple diagnostic tool.. (1)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28810685)

Odd you say that. The advocates for patent/copyright legal regimes assure us it works just the opposite, eh?

Developing Countries? (3, Funny)

painehope (580569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809049)

You mean like East Texas and Louisiana?

Re:Developing Countries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28809897)

You mean like East Texas and Louisiana?

No, those aren't actually developing...

iPhone (4, Funny)

Stu1706 (1392693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809057)

Someone is already writing the "Do I have Malaria" app I bet.

Re:iPhone (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809199)

They call it the iDoc

Re:iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28809293)

Nope, the iDoc checks your genitals to make sure they dropped.

This one they're calling the iMalaria.

Re:iPhone (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809529)

Actually, it's already done. I'm just waitting on Apple to approve it. It's already been two weeks since I submitted it!

Re:iPhone (1, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28810083)

Nah. Won't be compatible with the iPhone. Will be blocked from the store because it infringes the rights of Monsanto. Or it will be in Java, which every phone on the plane, except the iPhone, can do.

Re:iPhone (2, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28810331)

To provide your diagnosis*, please fill out this quick and easy survey:
Do you have Malaria? (Y/N)

*Accurate diagnosis 100% guaranteed when survey is answered completely and truthfully.

It looks painful, but hopeful for Africa and India (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809075)

I repent my errant ways.

The forming of a post is similar to writing a symphony or growing a tomato. All are composed of flashes of creativity followed by monotonous work to bring that creativity into the physical realm. The saving grace of writing Internet posts is the brevity of the act as well as the immediate feedback of the jeering or cheering crowd.

Too muddy have I sullied myself; thought by some to be the Devil incarnate, to be moderated into oblivion so that naive eyes pass over my posts unknowingly and for the better.

Today I change! Turn over a new leaf! Here goes...

This will be a huge boon to Africa and India. These are places where the reach of technology is just now touching, and best of all it is doing it all wirelessly. So the people of these nations have cellphone access but no landline access. It's a very interesting turn of events.

The water-borne blood diseases of India and the insect-borne blood diseases of Africa are incorrigible killers. I hope that some of the damage Rachel Carson did can be reversed. Call it White-guilt or whatever, but helping our fellow man out of the dark ages and into a happier and healthier era can only be a good thing, I think.

Re:It looks painful, but hopeful for Africa and In (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809255)

Little less intro next time.

Your bit at the bottom is worth some up mod alone.

Re:It looks painful, but hopeful for Africa and In (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28812409)

Little less intro next time.

I think he's just channeling Sheogorath [uesp.net] .

Re:It looks painful, but hopeful for Africa and In (0, Flamebait)

painehope (580569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28810869)

Call it White-guilt or whatever

Are you smoking crack? Africa was a pestilent shithole before White people colonized the place, and is now even worse afterwards. The only time that Africa's natural resources (it's by-and-large one of the most fertile continents in the world) were efficiently farmed and distributed were when those evil White folks were running the government and farming the land. Africa went from a savage wilderness populated by sub-normal tribes (I'll give you a clue - look at the average IQ of Blacks outside of America, it's almost always below the level that is considered mentally retarded) to a productive continent (okay, there were some issues, but nothing compared to the rampant disease and warfare now) to a war-ravaged disease-infested shithole that can't even feed itself. All the Black governments in Africa condone, at least by omission, genocide against the remaining White farmers, yet cannot farm the land themselves. Then they blame White people and aliens (no shit, this claim was made by S. Africa's Minister of Health about 5 years ago) for their health and social problems. They can use AK-47s, yet simple agrarian farming tools are beyond them. Uh-huh. If you can load an assault rifle, you can fuel and run a tractor.

I see nothing that White people should feel guilty about what-so-fucking-ever.

Re:It looks painful, but hopeful for Africa and In (1)

raind (174356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28811149)

I don't know all about that. Have you ever been to Africa? I do think our ancestors our from there. Anyone?

Re:It looks painful, but hopeful for Africa and In (1)

painehope (580569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28816253)

I've been to South Africa. And I follow the news (and I make sure to get my news from a variety of disparate sources, not just mainstream spoon-fed crap, and not just off-the-wall bloggers). And I've studied the history of various parts of the world that I find interesting for one reason or another. In this case, I find Africa interesting for the simple fact that it's a perfect example of differences between various cultures and races in post-imperialism. Also, the whole "we was slaves, poor us" bit in America gets old...at an early age, I got tired of all the politically correct crap about how the big, bad White people enslaved the poor, helpless Black people and dragged them over to pick cotton. I wasn't terribly surprised to discover that almost all slaves acquired by international slave traders were sold to said traders by Africans themselves! While I despise the concept of slavery regardless of who practices it, this historical fact is largely ignored by the PC crowd in the US, who either (a) don't mention it or (b) actively lie and say that slave traders predominantly raided Africa for slaves. It's easy to lie about things which lie (no pun intended) far enough in the past that most people don't consider it worthwhile to investigate, simply taking at face value whatever they are told.

As far as ancestry, this is a hotly debated topic in palaeoanthropology. Firstly, one needs to consider that modern man (homo sapiens sapiens) is very different from homo erectus, homo habilis, and other branches of the homo taxonomy. It is believed by almost all anthropologists that the origin of the homo genus (no jokes, please) is indeed from Africa. However, evidence suggests that neither of the current dominant theories (the "Out Of Africa", or recent - well, if one considers something like 50,000 years or so in the past to be recent, which it is in terms of the history of the planet - evolution of homo sapiens sapiens - modern man - directly from the African continent, nor the MRE - Multi-Regional Evolution - theory which suggests that after the homo genus spread across the world, speciation - which is the evolution of various subspecies - of the homo genus took place) is entirely accurate. So, as far as I know, regardless of what one believes, the origins of mankind lie in Africa. However, the evolution of culture and civilization seem to be a world-wide phenomenon, based upon fossil and other hard records (such as buildings and tools) that contradict the theory that civilization originated in Africa and Egypt. Remember that homo sapiens were spread across the world already by the time that the disputed transition to "modern man" occurred (something like 200,000 years ago).

So, speaking in terms of evolution, "modern man" (homo sapiens sapiens) evolved either beginning around 200K years ago (the MRE theory) or around 50K years ago (the "Out Of Africa" theory) from Africa/Egypt/Middle East. Regardless of which, let's consider more recent developments (such as agriculture and other advances that facilitated the transition from hunter-gatherer organizational units to agrarian society). These definitely favor the MRE theory (or some variation thereof, since I don't believe it's entirely accurate), as hard evidence shows that organized human society definitely did not evolve solely in the African region. There are Celtic ruins that date as far back as Sumerian ruins, yet it is highly unlikely that these civilizations had much, if any, contact at all. So it's most likely that the dawn of "modern" human civilization did not occur in one specific region and then spread to the rest of the world.

Okay, that taxed my knowledge of ancient anthropology and I did have to reference Wikipedia and other resources several times. Apologies for any minor errors, but the basic ideas are correct as far as I know. Now, fast-forwarding about 9K years, let's look at African society as it existed prior to colonization by Europeans. The kingdoms and empires that existed up until this point were primitive (in terms of technology, cohesion, and lasting social impact) compared to equivalently sized (in terms of land and population) empires and kingdoms in Greece, Rome, Byzantium, et al (most of which pre-dated any known African kingdom or empire other than the territories controlled by the Eqyptian empire, which were primarily in Northern Africa). As a side note, since slavery was mentioned, not only was slavery practiced for millenia in Africa, but Arabs actually began trading with Africans for slaves before any Europeans (damn those sneaky Arabs, always trying to outdo Europeans, inventing numerals and trading in slaves...oh, and not all Europeans are White! What a major breakthrough! Who would have ever thunk it!). Anyways, in the late 19th century, European nations which practised imperialistic policies began colonizing Africa through direct or indirect rule (to the point where the majority of Africa was under colonial rule). At this point, Africa was one of the most productive (in terms of food and other natural resources) continents in the world. While this imperialistic policy benefited the imperial powers (to one extent or another, largely depending upon which power controlled which territory) far more than the native populace, it did introduce modern civilization and technology to a continent that previously relied strictly upon primitive (for the time) agriculture and trade (including slave trade) with foreign powers. There can be no doubt from viewing the historical records that (on a macro-scale) the Africans benefited from this infusion of science, medicine, and other technology.

Before, during, and after WWII, imperialism became frowned upon and Africa gradually became a set of independent nations. Many of these nations were still ruled by predominantly European governments, but they were separate from the imperial powers that had colonized them. A gradual social breakdown began as more and more the governance of these nations was handed over to the indigenous populations. While laudable in terms of principles of freedom, the real-world consequences of the largely unsupervised transition of social and political power from civilized, educated Europeans to pseudo-civilized, uneducated Africans can be viewed today. Just open your paper or browse the Internet. You'll read tales of genocide (both ethnic and racial - the racial genocide being predominantly aimed at White Europeans who chose to remain in the territories that their ancestors had farmed for generations - and the ethnic genocide being perpetrated on basis of religious, regional, and tribal affiliation of the Africans involved). Disease rages unchecked, countries/regions that once produced enough crops to not only feed their populations but also export to the rest of the world now starve, horrific wars and genocidal campaigns that make even the worst imperialistic policies look like brief hiccups in the social order, and complete social breakdown on an almost unprecedented (at least in modern times) scale are the norm. Yet somehow Whites world-wide, and especially Americans (who, ironically, never practiced imperialism as a national policy at all) and White Europeans, are expected to offer aid and assistance, paid for out of their own pockets no less.

Is it too much to expect at least a few nations on the continent to get their shit together and become productive members of global society? I'm not saying that all other nations are perfect. By no means. But the fact that very few African nations have any degree of stability (even to the extent of being able to farm their own land to feed their people), and the few that can achieve that basic social accomplishment are mobbed by the primitives of other regions (who merely see the opportunity for food and other resources, like locusts swarming without any consideration for where they will go once they have exhausted the current food supply...humorously, the more organized nations are retaliating violently on both a civilian and military level against the influx of these parasites, yet this isn't commented upon at all in Western mainstream news media...perhaps because this is exactly what we should be doing about the influx of illegal immigrants that seek to do much the same, and God forbid that a predominantly White nation be allowed to protect the interests of it's citizens - important distinction there - of all races! It might benefit too many White people! The horror!), combined with other factors (such as almost across-the-board African IQ scores in the low to mid 70s), suggests to myself (and anyone else with an iota of common sense) that Africans are not only not evolved enough to achieve the levels of civilization exhibited by even the smallest and poorest of First World countries (which, oddly enough, are almost all European and predominantly White, or Asian), but also are too lazy to achieve what does lie within their means. As I said before, if you can handle the upkeep, loading, and firing of modern military-grade weaponry, you should be able to handle planting and harvesting crops (something which all nations and races have been doing for millenia, including pre-colonial Africa, even if it was at a primitive level compared to the rest of the world).

But why do that when you can get all the developed countries (especially the evil White people - "blue-eyed devils" is the term, I believe) to give you food and medicine? Which is often stockpiled by the government and/or warlords and not distributed to the population at large. Of course, the locust does not think where it's next meal comes from, as long as it is fed today.

I REST MY CASE. Time to go catch a late dinner and finish off my beer.

p.s. - to whomever modded me "Flamebait" and the parent post as "Insightful", see my dot sig.

Re:It looks painful, but hopeful for Africa and In (1)

Dr. Impossible (1580675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28817005)

The water-borne blood diseases of India and the insect-borne blood diseases of Africa are incorrigible killers. I hope that some of the damage Rachel Carson did can be reversed. Call it White-guilt or whatever, but helping our fellow man out of the dark ages and into a happier and healthier era can only be a good thing, I think.

The reason why so much of Africa is in the dark ages is because of culture, not technology.

One has to wonder (2, Interesting)

PhoenixFire213 (839961) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809091)

But if they can do something like this for field use, why can't they create cheap medical equipment (and thus lower costs) for US facilities?

Re:One has to wonder (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809323)

It probably has something to do with accuracy.

Here in the US, the 0.02% increase in accuracy of the really expensive equipment can make up for the cost differential in reduced litigation.

Re:One has to wonder (3, Informative)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809371)

1) Cheap equipment is a bit worse. It might not impact performance at all, but chances are, some sue-happy person might win malpractice case thatnks to 'subpar equipment used'. Cheap in this case can be pretty expensive.

2) Costs are directly transalted to customer. And people will pay a LOT when their health is concerned. So, if customers can afford to pay you for expensive stuff ... you might as well let em pay because your profit margins can be bigger. Simply, you can have lab test cost 10$ and add margin of say 5$, or you can have lab test costing 100$ and add margin of 50$.

3) Expensive stuff means more profit for equipment makers (bigger price -> bigger margins). Enough to be able to advertize and add little, hmm, personal incentive to buy pricey stuff.

4) And sometimes, you really DO need that expensive stuff because it can make difference between life and death.

Re:One has to wonder (1)

PhoenixFire213 (839961) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809481)

Good points, though I meant more targeted at the low end of the healthcare spectrum. While I agree torts law is horribly messed up, I think there's enough people out there who can't afford the current medical price point that there'd be a market for the "lower tier" medical treatments and equipment if offered. OF course that raises whole new societal justice and ethical issues...

What about "slightly less cheap"? (2, Interesting)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#28810021)

When seeing this setup, I immediately thought "What about combining this with a digital SLR camera?".
Those usually have exchangeable lenses, and the instrument could lock to the camera body instead of the normal lens. That should give much better image quality due to the better sensor and still be affordable.
For $400 - $500 you have a wide selection of DSLR cameras at places like Amazon. Assume another $500 for the attached microscope and you get a $1000 camera microscope, which is still cheap for medical equipment.

Re:What about "slightly less cheap"? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28817321)

Because attaching it to an iPhone is much cooler.

Re:One has to wonder (1)

OutOfMyTree (810249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28817499)

The US has an unparalleled health system -- the rest of the world is heading in a different direction.

For most of the world, it is not a high priority to preserve the ability of the private health care providers to make large profits. In the developed world, we do not have to watch eagle-eyed for any excuse to sue somebody, anybody, to lower health-related costs. Many of us have access to expensive equipment when we need it -- though admittedly we are not told that we need it quite as often as US customers are told to pay up.

Two Words: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28809991)

Big Pharma

rifle? (1)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809107)

That thumbnail looks a lot like a weird rifle. It took me a second of trying to figure out what firearms could do to help diagnose blood diseases before I realized I was on the wrong track.

Re:rifle? (1)

Stu1706 (1392693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809161)

I feel better now. I thought the same thing.

Re:rifle? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809905)

Well, hopefully the police doesn't think so when you take it out to check your blood ...

Re:rifle? (1)

box4831 (1126771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809617)

Rifles are a quick way to get a blood sample...

Easy, any firearm (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28818227)

1. Shoot the patient

2. Take a bloodsample of the wall.

3. Give an accurete diagnoses that whatever the patient might have, it doesn't really matter anymore.

And they kept me out of med school. Can you imagine?

That's nothing (5, Funny)

muyla (1429487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809195)

I've invented a special coin that can tell you if you have a specific disease with only 50% false positives!

Re:That's nothing (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809401)

I have been working on this my self. How did you overcome the 50% false negative problem?

Re:That's nothing (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809641)

More than 50% of the time, it would be a correct negative. False negatives are still roughly as likely as true positives, though.

Re:That's nothing (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28812813)

Hmm, very interesting. I may have to apply for another grant to look into this further.

Re:That's nothing (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809651)

That's nothing. I've got a device which gets 0% false positives. Now, that device has a rather high rate of false negatives, so I augmented it with another device which gives you 0% false negatives, but some false positives. Together they give you the perfect diagnosis tool: No false positives (device 1) plus no false negatives (device 2).

Here's how it works:
The first device is just a piece of paper with the text "you are healthy" written on it. It's obvious that you won't get false positives from that.
The second device is almost the same, except that it contains the text "you are ill."

I'm planning to also release more specific tools do decide e.g. between "you have cancer" and "you have no cancer."

Singularity in action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28809365)

As our technological portfolio increases, we should see more innovative cross-applications of technology such as this. Gradually a lot of the artificial barriers that have been put in place (including overly restrictive copyrights and acceptance of permanently proprietary tech) erode to facilitate even greater experimentation and development.

Might be off topic... (0, Offtopic)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809383)

This is probably off topic but it just reminded me something that happened to me as a naive child. I had bought a watch at Kmart a few days earlier, and it had inexplicably stopped working. So I went back into Kmart to get them to fix it. Then the lady there tried to claim that I had a type of blood that prevented the use of all battery powered devices near my arm.

In retrospect she was probably just too lazy to try and fix it. Does something like this actually exist, and if so would it prevent this cell phone blood testing?

Re:Might be off topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28810415)

Yes, she was right, not lazy. There are agents in people's blood that prevent all battery operated devices from operating near them. Haven't you found this to be the case throughout the rest of your life? i mean she worked at Kmart! What better authority do you need?!

Re:Might be off topic... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28817337)

Don't know if it's related to blood, but watches would stop if my father wore them. We had a drawer full of them, and they generally worked if I wore them.

I think it was due to his job, he used to repair electrical equipment.

ONLY Third World countries, I should think. (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809505)

One of the reasons medical diagnostic gear is disproportionately expensive is lawsuits. We in the West are convinced that if we threaten to sue enough people we'll live forever.

Re:ONLY Third World countries, I should think. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809739)

Of course the only one you should sue to live forever is the death. He killed so many people, that he is certainly guilty of mass murder. With death removed, there's no limit to your life.

Paradox? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809513)

The same regions of the world that lack access to adequate health facilities are, paradoxically, well-served by mobile phone networks.

Mobile phone infrastructure is incredibly cheap to provision. You can put up a single tower and cover literally hundreds of square miles. Access to adequate health facilities need equipment, which costs much more than a cell tower, staff (also more expensive than the tower), transit (roads, ambulances, vehicles).

It's not a paradox that these areas get good cell coverage before other "modern" conveniences. It only makes sense. It's cheap and easy to provide cell service, and the low hanging fruit is always picked first.

Re:Paradox? (2, Informative)

tj2 (54604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28810063)

It's not a paradox that these areas get good cell coverage before other "modern" conveniences. It only makes sense. It's cheap and easy to provide cell service, and the low hanging fruit is always picked first.

It's not only low-hanging fruit, but developing nations are, by definition, poor. If you string up 5 miles of copper phone line during the day, it's a sure bet that it will be pulled down that night. It's practically impossible to prevent, and copper is easily turned into cash. Ask anyone who's ever attempted a network build-out in one of the less advantaged regions of the world.

So... (0)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809519)

They give you cancer but they can diagnose blood disease. Sounds like a fair trade-off. :-)

Flatbed Scanner Pinhole Photography (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28809647)

I've experimented with similar imaging, though I was just trying to take a picture of anything at all. I used a carboard box wrapped in aluminum tape, with a pinhole made from a piece of soda can. I used the scanner to measure the hole, and counted the pixels. I got close at least. I was using LED scanners, and wasn't able to find any cheap USB scanners which used a CCD and mirror -- the LED scanners have a scanning element the entire width of the scanner, and the construction prevents the light from being received from the pinhole. Also, there isn't much gain that can be applied to these kinds of things. I expected to take many images, and add them together. I used SANE and scanbuttond.

Beam me up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28810059)

A communicator and medical tricorder in one! Woohoo!

*chirrp chirrp* (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 5 years ago | (#28810469)

"You have anemia."

Crap.

So... (1)

Temtongkek (975742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28810835)

It's the first tricorder?

Spelling and Been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28810983)

first its Berkeley

and UCLA already did this

There's got to be a better way (1)

Radtastic (671622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28811215)

Seems to me a mount-on camera is going to be prone to calibration issues with the cell phone camera lense.

Wouldn't it be better to develop an all-in-one microscope camera and push image fiels to an SD or CF card that then goes into a camera?

Bonus, They already exist [paxcam.com] (although this is USB insead of memory card.)

IANA (insert whatever competency needed to have a valid opinion here)

Fixed some grammatical error's. Its much better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28811303)

A group of research engineer's at Berkley have developed a mobile phone microscope that can photograph microbe's in your blood, and analyze them for disease. The group hope's the device will be useful to doctor's in developing countrie's to diagnose blood disease's in the field. The device use's a phone attachment with an LED, then magnified images are fed into the cell phone camera. Software installed on the phone analyze's bacterial counts, or the images can be sent to labs for quick analysi's. UC Berkeley bioengineer Dan Fletcher led the CellScope research team. He said, "The same region's of the world that lack acces's to adequate health facilitie's are, paradoxically, well-served by mobile phone network's. We can take advantage of these mobile network's to bring low-cost, easy-to-use lab equipment out to more remote setting's . . . We had to disabuse ourselve's of the notion that we needed to spend many thousand's on a mercury arc lamp and high-sensitivity camera to get a meaningful image. We found that a high-powered LED - which retail's for just a few dollar's - coupled with a typical camera phone could produce a clinical quality image sufficient for our goal of detecting in a field setting some of the most common disease's in the developing world."

can I be a jedi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28812117)

a cheap way to determine that now...!

ldo7l (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28812855)

won't vote in About half of the Turd-suckingly If *BSD is to I'm discussing = 36440 FreeBSD for thE state of NetBSD posts on

As a malaria researcher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28813081)

This is such an obvious ploy for trying to get some of the Gates foundation money without doing anything to really improve diagnosis.

In places where there is no electricity how will you recharge the cell phone when it runs out of batteries. Oh wait solar panels right? Then to send the image you need the local cell phone network upgraded to send picture messages...

Why have all these complicated gizmos which do the same thing as somebody with a 20 year old microscope can do. Why not just make something to work with the 20 year old microscope? Why not just make a adapter that attaches the cell phone to the microscope eye-peice? As the previous comments said "where's the app?" Seriously! The authors put no effort into developing or implementing any software which is currently developed for identifying malaria or other diseases from digital RGB images.

Where is the additional functionality? This type of invention would never make it into common use in the field because there are already microscopes where people can get microscopes and they are easier to use.

This article is the case of over hyping an invention which has no practical use and using PLoS one, a journal which has a minimal peer review process, in a totally inappropriate way. I'm kind of annoyed that the editors of PLoS one would publish such low quality work which clearly couldn't get published in any other journal.

While yes it is a good example of what you can do with modern technology...this is more if an example of reinventing the wheel rather than an generating a diagnostic tool which could make a big difference.

yeah I'm publishing as an Anonymous Coward...

Midi-chlorian count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28813141)

But will Obi-wan be able to tell me my midi-chlorian count?

Cool, but not revolutionary (1)

Scubaraf (1146565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28814579)

The pinhole camera on an iPhone has an aperture smaller than the human pupil.

This works easily, on regular microscopes, without any special attachment.
A regular microscope is going to be much more versatile.

I'll have to read the PLoS Online article to see what I'm missing.

Didn't I see this in Star Wars Episode 1? (1)

Pomme de Terre! (69783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28815591)

But can it detect midichlorian counts?

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