Bioengineering Department, University of California at Berkeley
Dr. Daniel Fletcher, Dr. Erik Douglas, Dr. Wilbur Lam, Neil Switz, Robi Maamari, David Breslauer
The CellScope project aims to address disease diagnosis and treatment challenges in developing countries by enabling clinical microscopy and wireless communication of healthcare information in the field. By clipping a compact optical microscope onto a camera-enabled cellular phone, we are creating a mobile microscopy system that increases the capabilities of healthcare workers as well as the speed and reach of healthcare delivery.
Much of the developing world is ravaged by infectious disease, and local infrastructure is often absent or crumbling. Optical microscopy is the diagnostic gold standard for many of these diseases, but the necessary equipment and trained personnel are often not available in a resource-limited setting. However, the presence of reliable cellular communication in these places presents a tremendous opportunity for healthcare delivery and can serve as the platform for an affordable and reliable method to diagnose patients in remote areas.
We are developing a system for cell phone microscopy, called the CellScope, capable of on-site disease diagnosis and wireless transmission of patient data to clinical centers for further evaluation, treatment recommendations, patient management, and epidemiological studies. Our device extends the concept of telemedicine to diagnostic microscopy using commercially-available camera-enabled cellular phones. The CellScope takes advantage of the robust cellular network in the developing world and the well-established and trusted technology of optical imaging to meet the tremendous demand for portable infectious disease diagnosis. Carried by local health workers, this mobile and inexpensive technology will make high-quality microscopy widely accessible, improving patient care and relieving the burden on under-resourced regional clinics. Vodafone Americas Foundation™ support will enable development and deployment of field-ready prototypes for use in evaluating device effectiveness for malaria and tuberculosis diagnosis and monitoring.
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