Smartphones help combat malaria and others

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Truly, mobile technology has evolved greatly. From the days of simple phones with no functions other than call and text to an era where they really do help our lives get better.

The mobile medicine campaign to combat world health crisis more quickly and affordably, is growing strong. Mobile technology is birthing apps to enhance better healthcare delivery.

Recently, a group of students from the University of Central Florida participating in the Imagine Cup 2011, a contest sponsored by Microsoft which challenges entrants to ”imagine a world where technology helps to solve the toughest problems”, have devised a means of using smartphones to diagnose malaria.

This application created by a group of grad students allows medical professionals diagnose malaria by taking a photo. Since a smartphone can be transported easily, this app eliminates the need to bring patients into facilities for examination.

A special microscopic lens is attached to the camera to take pictures of blood sample. The data is then processed to determine the presence of the malaria parasites and calculate how much of it is present.

Tristean Gibeau, the 25 year old leader of the group says this is going to make a difference in trying to contain the outbreak of malaria. He is also planning on expanding the technology so that other diseases such as sickle cell can be diagnosed.

Early this year, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston unveiled their S200 smartphone accessory that can analyse a small amount of tumor tissue and determine its cancerous malignancy. The device hooks up to a smartphone and displays information via the device screen.

With mobile devices expected to provide healthcare to over 500 million people by 2015, lets hope that life can only get better.

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3 comments

  1. Nice one, I almost missed it.

    First it was an app that makes sounds that repel mosquitoes and now and app to diagnose, it will only get better.

    This shows how useful smartphone are.

  2. Really incredible. I wonder when it will become mainstream. And what the percentage error will be? It takes a Laboratory Scientist some grueling hours to learn how to identify a malaria parasite on a Bloodslide. THE smartphone malaria parasite analysis should be far from perfect. but over time with refining they’ll become better. Thereafter diagnosing malaria will be analogous to pregnancy test kits any expectant mother can buy in any chemist shop and Do-it-Yourself!!. With at least an accuracy rate of 60%!!

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