Welcome back to the ONE Blog! While scanning some of the big stories that broke while our offices were closed for the holidays, this one in particular caught my eye. Jennifer Hicks of Forbes reports on the new Lifelens Smartphone app that helps diagnose malaria with a drop of blood. Here’s Lifelens’ video explaining the app:
As how Hicks explains it:
The Lifelens Smartphone app is simple. Take a drop of blood from a patient and put it on a slide with a marker, a dye that only the malarial parasite can absorb. Then, take an image of that slide with the Smartphone equipped with a tiny lens giving 350 times magnification and you can see the blood cells at the cellular level. With the image captured in the Smartphone you can take a cell count using a detection algorithm that identifies different artifacts in the image that identifies red blood cells and from there, you can identify the malaria within those red blood cells. Once the Lifelens’ app identifies the cells, data can be pushed to the web including the GPS coordinates of that case which allow healthcare works or scientists to see trends as well as where malaria outbreaks are occurring. There is also a web portal feature that can put all of the information they have on cases and lay over a mobile map giving a universal snapshot of where malaria is clustered globally.
The Lifelens app of course is just one example of how smartphone technology is leading to major breakthroughs in combatting extreme poverty and infectious disease. What other examples have you noticed recently?