Scientists at UCLA modded an ordinary phone into a portable blood analyser that can detect diseases at a very low cost. The hack could save lives in poorer areas that can't afford expensive equipment.
Blood analysis usually requires either large and expensive equipment or a trained technician to manually examine the material. Both are out of reach for many remote areas, especially in parts of Africa where HIV and malaria are rampant. UCLA researcher Dr. Aydogan Ozcan developed software that allows blood samples to be analysed with the use of inexpensive, off-the-shelf camera sensors and a filtered light source. The key is the software's ability to analyse thousands of blood cells at once, providing an accurate result within minutes.
The photo above shows a Sony-Ericsson phone modded for this type of use. That bulge on the back is the filtered light source. It's great to see cool mods done for great social welfare rather than our gadgety amusement every once in awhile. [Wired]