How well will a new malaria screener work?
We want to know.
NLM and our collaborators developed an automated system for detecting the malaria parasite that runs on smart phones.
Working with the universities of Oxford, Mahidol, and Missouri, we developed a way to use the phone’s camera and an adapter to connect the phone to the eyepiece of a microscope to create the “Malaria Screener,” which looks for the parasites that cause malaria in the digitized images of blood films.
The new tool might not only save time and money; it could save lives.
With about 200 million cases worldwide and more than 400,000 deaths each year, malaria is a major burden on public health.
The current standard for diagnosing the mosquito-borne illness is light microscopy of blood films, which involves manually counting parasites. This process depends upon the skills and experience of the person peering through the microscope.
Automatically analyzing the blood film images captured by a smartphone camera can provide a more standardized interpretation of blood films, allow more patients to be screened, and reduce diagnostic costs.
NLM Project to Improve Malaria Diagnosis Wins HHS Funding