Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

The Daily Dose- Phoning in the diagnosis

Today’s daily dose shows how a cell phone camera could have broad implications for global health.

Aydogan Ozcan is a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA. From $10 worth of parts, he built an apparatus that turns a cell phone into a mobile microscope. His device contains no lens, instead relying on a system of electronic magnification that creates a hologram, which is then transmitted wirelessly to a lab. The cellphone microscope could help doctors working in remote areas rapidly analyze patient blood samples, allowing them to screen for diseases like malaria, TB and anemia.

Ozcan’s paper detailing his methods can be found in Lab on a Chip; a team from Berkeley and UCSF published a paper on their cell phone microscope, which uses light microscopy, in PLoS ONE.


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