Scientists use a smart phone iPhone 4S to diagnose intestinal worm infections in school children in Tanzania.
They put a ball lens for 8 dollars, or approximately USD 77 000 on cell phone camera lens, and using a cheap flashlight and a double plaster to create a microscope.
Using the camera improvisation they studied the presence of eggs, which is a sign of the presence of parasites in the gut.
When the results are cross-checked in the laboratory with a microscope and behold, it turns out their creation tool accuracy reaches 70% of the samples were exposed to infection, and there are 90% more severe infections.
The study was published this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Researcher Dr Isaac Bogoch, a specialist in infectious diseases and internal at the Toronto General Hospital told the BBC that he had read about the microscope of this smart phone sbeuah tested in the lab and decided to re-create the rules” real.”
“Ultimately we want something like this could be used as a diagnostic test. We want to be used by someone who can use it,” he said.
“Accuracy of 70% is not good enough, we want more than 80% and we are not there yet,” he added.
“The technology is available. We wanted to use materials that are affordable and easy to obtain.”
Dr. Bogoch and his team, consisting of experts from Massachusetts General Hospital and Institute of Public Health and Tropical Switzerland, said the reason why the Apple iPhone is used is because it is the only mobile phone that he had.
“You need to help the ball lens magnification, but any mobile phone with a decent camera and zooming function would be enough,” he said.
The smallest worm eggs successfully seen using a cell phone camera has a diameter of 40-60 micrometers.
“From an egg is not small but not great either,” said Dr. Bogoch.
“The microscope is very good at diagnosing children who are infected with worms usur, so they can be more easily seen.”
Estimated intestinal worm infected more than two billion people worldwide, mostly in poor areas.
This parasitic infection causes severe malnutrition, slowing growth and interfere with mental development.