Automated portable microscope for malaria detection -Dr. Satya Tapas, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, Bangalore
Over more than a century, we are still using the same compound microscope for clinical diagnosis without any significant change in it. Even today, the detection of infectious pathogens in clinical samples under microscope is a labor-intensive process and needs expertise. Correct detection of malaria by this method is still challenging, particularly in rural set up in developing countries due to lack of resources and lack of expertise. To overcome such challenges, we came up with a revolutionary idea to improve the traditional way of microscopy for detecting malaria by using a computer numerical controlled (CNC) microscope that performs with more accuracy without relying on human expertise. CNC microscope is a portable automated device that scans the blood smear with its autofocus feature and captures images in series for further analysis.
CNC Microscope is unique of its kind. It is completely automated and has a lot of advantage over traditional microscopes.
1) It's a portable and automated device; thus can be used for point of care service (Manual method of microscopy can't be used for point of care service)
2) It's a self-sufficient device having a battery for power supply and a touch screen for image analysis. (Most of the advanced microscope needs external electric supply for light source which is a limiting factor in rural set-up)
3) It uses artificial intelligence to detect malaria infection, so it doesn't rely on human expertise.
4) Detects malaria even at low parasitemia condition.
5) It's more accurate and fast, thus it avoids human error and extremely useful during outbreak of infection. (as more number of samples is difficult to handle in a manual method.)
6) Images can be captured and recorded for future reference. (No such options are available in traditional microscopes)
7) The images can be shared with experts through cloud for further analysis.
8) The data generated by CNC-microscope can be used for real time monitoring for malaria outbreak and to predict future epidemics.
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