Students at the University of California, Davis (UCD), and the University of Central Florida (UCF) have developed a way to turn smartphones into virtual microscopes that can detect malaria from a digital picture of a patient's blood sample.
The software enables a doctor working in Africa to take a picture of the blood sample with a cell phone camera instead of having to use a microscope in a lab. An image-analysis phone application then calculates and detects where the malaria clusters are based on blood cells' location and staining, the same way it is done in a lab. "I can adapt the software to run on pretty much any platform and to potentially detect other conditions like anemia, says UCF's Tristan Gibeau.
In addition, since most cell phones are equipped with global positioning systems, those using the new digital program could potentially detect outbreaks early.
The digital method is less complicated than the other tests available today, says UCD student Wilson To, who came up with the idea and is a finalist in Microsoft's 2011 Imagine Cup competition, an international event that challenges students to use their imaginations and modern technology to solve global problems.
From University of Central Florida
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The idea is worth the appreciation here. Such softwares that use image processing and help detection of a disease demonstrate the ability to develop low-memory sophisticated systems that could facilitate early detection of out-breaks, as mentioned. I liked the idea, and its execution.
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