Nuwan Waidyanatha’s RTBP project at LIRNEasia examines how mobiles can be used to communicate epidemiological information from the field for analysis through data mining. Here, the mobile can be used to directly gather data from patients.
MICROSCOPES are invaluable tools to identify blood and other cells when screening for diseases like anemia, tuberculosis and malaria. But they are also bulky and expensive.
Now an engineer, using software that he developed and about $10 worth of off-the-shelf hardware, has adapted cellphones to substitute for microscopes.
“We convert cellphones into devices that diagnose diseases,” said Aydogan Ozcan, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and member of the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, who created the devices.
THE cellphone systems may be particularly helpful in screening for malaria, said Yvonne Bryson, a professor and chief of the pediatric infectious diseases division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at U.C.L.A. She has collaborated with Dr. Ozcan on several grants. “Right now you need a microscope, and you need trained people,” Dr. Bryson said. “But this device would allow you to work without either in a remote area.”
M. Fatih Yanik, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said, “This makes it possible for ordinary people to gather medical information in the field just by using a cellphone adapted with cheap parts.”
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