In the underdeveloped world diseases ravage impoverished populations. Even worse is that basic medical equipment is too expensive. That means places where the latest technology is the most needed, it is sadly absent. Dr. Aydogan Ozcan is working to change all that by creating the hardware and the software needed to turn ordinary cell phones into powerful microscopes. The best part is that 3d printing makes the device affordable enough to send to third world countries to help stop the spread of HIV and perhaps even Ebola. Right now doctors working with HIV patients in the third world have to simply wait and hope that their treatments are working. Using a cellphone equipped with a 3d printed microscope they can quickly see how thier patient is responding to treatment.
This device can also help test for diseases and harmful bacteria. It will allow them to easily test water sources for E.Coli and other harmful bacteria before it becomes a health hazard. The software and the technology created by Dr. Ozcan are designed so that even someone without a degree in pathology can understand the images produced by the microscope. Currently this device is mainly used to combat HIV but now the focus has been turned toward Ebola. Dr. Ozcan is working to develop a way to test bodily fluids for Ebola using the device. They will be able to do it once a clear diagnostic signature is discovered for Ebola. Once that happens this simple to use and affordable device will be able to see who has Ebola and therefore be able to stop the epidemic that has killed thousands.
Main Image Credit: smithsonianmag.com