iPhone turned into microscope in Tanzania

March 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM
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DODOMA, Tanzania, March 16 (UPI) -- Scientists in Tanzania turned an iPhone into a microscope and used it to diagnose intestinal worms in schoolchildren, officials said.

The microscope was made using an iPhone, double-sided adhesive tape, flashlight and camera lens and then used it to diagnose intestinal worms in about 200 students in Pemba Island, off Tanzania's eastern coast, CNN reported Saturday.

"To our knowledge, this is the first time the mobile phone microscope had been used in the field to diagnose intestinal parasitic infections," said Isaac Bogoch, an internal medicine specialist at Toronto General Hospital, who conducted the study.

Bogoch said the iPhone microscope had about 70 percent accuracy when compared to the results of a conventional laboratory microscope.

"The idea was to have a cheap solution in remote settings where equipment such as a microscope and electricity are not that easily available," said Benjamin Speich, a corresponding author and scientist at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.

Scientists say they plan to work with the technology to make it more accurate.

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