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Microscope smartphone app aims at leukaemia diagnosis

A smartphone app is being developed to examine blood sample images and diagnose leukaemia.

Worawut Srisukkham, a PhD student at Northumbria University, Newcastle, is in the early stages of an e-health technology project aimed at developing the phone app for use by doctors in remote rural regions of developing countries.

It would work by taking a magnified image of a blood slide via a microscopic lens attached to the smart phone, with the app then screening for evidence of leukaemia.

Once created, Worawut’s smart phone app would enable rural doctors to analyse blood samples and refer patients to the city hospitals for treatment or further investigation.

‘Creating a phone app that can perform this screening role would be a low cost and efficient solution,’ Worawut said in a statement:

In 2012, approximately 352,000 children and adults around the world developed some form of leukaemia with a similar number dying from the cancer. Once his project is complete, Worawut hopes it will help to prevent unnecessary deaths from the disease caused by delayed diagnosis and treatment.

Worawut will present his idea at Maker Faire UK at Newcastle’s Centre for Life on 26 and 27 April. Fellow Northumbria colleagues will also exhibit, including demonstrations of 3D printing, targeted drug delivery and an app that helps research the effect of the Himalayan Balsam plant on British bees.

Click here for further details or to purchase tickets.

Readers' comments (1)

  • With regards the app for spotting leukaemia, why is there always an assumption that a cheap and easy to use diagnostic tool belongs to the rural third world?
    From personal experience in the UK, our young son fell on a play ground and was left in a state that concerned his teachers enough to call an ambulance as there are no hospital facilities near by. The paramedic was concerned he looked a bit off colour but nothing he could put his finger on, the GP said he was fine and on the weekend we almost lost him and he was diagnosed with suspcted leaukaemia at hospital (a diagnosis that was confirmed when the test results came back). A device that gives paramedics / GPs an easy to use tool for spotting a condition that they are unlikely to encounter more than a couple of times in their career has a role here as well.

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