April 5, 2011
UCF Student Turns Cell Phone Into Mobile Microscope to Detect Malaria
A group of college students at the University of Central Florida have figured out how to turn smart phones into virtual microscopes that can detect malaria from a digital snapshot of a patient’s blood sample. UCF Today reports.
Instead of placing a blood sample under a microscope in a lab, a doctor or nurse working in remote parts of Africa would simply snap a picture of the sample with a cell phone camera. Then an image analysis algorithm – devised as a phone app that Gibeau created – calculates and detects where the malaria clusters are based on blood cells’ location and staining.
The only special preparation a field doctor would have to do is place a drop of a dye that stains for the malaria parasite in the blood sample – the same way it’s done in a lab.
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