malaria Archives


Mobiles as microscopes

Posted on November 8, 2009  /  0 Comments

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.
What LIRNEasia tries to do with its teleuse@BOP research is to understand how and why people use ICTs at the bottom of the pyramid. We do this from the demand side. That has its advantages, but disadvantages too, such as cost, shortcomings in memory, etc. Therefore, we were thrilled to see someone else engaged in the same project, but from a different angle. Nathan Eagle, a research fellow at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, believes that mobile phones offer more than a way to communicate.