Smartphone Malaria Tech Makes Debut

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The answer to Africa’s malaria challenge could fit in a pocket.

Texas A&M researchers hope to revolutionize the way the disease is identified by simply using a smartphone and a type of clip-on microscope. Their new technology was inspired by a study abroad project that exposed an A&M professor to the need for easily accessible malaria detection methods in Africa. 

The small microscope can easily attach to a smartphone’s camera and a malaria diagnosis can be made anywhere. This device may make it possible for many more people to be tested and ultimately healed.

The softball-sized microscope holds a compact five-centimeter lens. The apparatus is attached to a phone case, which isn’t much different from regular cases. To use the microscope, the phone is simply inserted into the case.        

Gerard Cote, A&M professor of biomedical engineering, is a lead designer on the project.           

“I was part of a study abroad and was teaching some students in Rwanda, Africa,” Cote said. “As a part of their study abroad project, they had to come back with a medically related design idea, and I thought I would do the same.”             

The malaria situation in Rwanda is improving, but it is still gravely serious. According to the Rwandan government, one in 13 children will not make it to the age of 5 due to this disease.


Source: The Battalion (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
healthcare technology, infectious diseases