Global health R&D at work in Arizona
Arizona State University researchers have developed a technology to turn smartphones into a low-cost microscope to detect tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. The team took an expensive technology called dark-field microscopy, which allows scientists to more clearly see brightly lit samples against a black background, and adapted it for low-resource settings. They created an easy-to-use mobile phone attachment that combines a $1 LED light with a condenser to help focus light onto a sample. The tool also contains a slide reader and slides customized to detect a specific disease and its severity. This simple, portable technology could be a valuable new tool for health workers on the front lines of triaging outbreaks around the world.