Tanzania turns iPhone into Microscope

Scientists in Tanzania have turned an iPhone into a microscope and used it to diagnose intestinal worms in schoolchildren.

The microscope was made using an iPhone, flashlight, camera lens and double-sided adhesive tape, then used it to diagnose intestinal worms in approximately 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 Medical Specialist at Toronto General Hospital.

Bogoch said the iPhone microscope had a 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 in Tanzania to make it more accurate.