Project Details

Women in Ethiopia laying out mosquito nets


Accelerating the speed and improving the accuracy of Malaria diagnostics

By IanXen

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Project Twitter: @ianxenRAPID

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  • Health
  • Data
  • Internet
  • Mobile
  • Physical Computing

IanXen RAPID is a tool that means you can use your iPhone to detect Malaria — cheaply and within seconds.

Recovery from Malaria is quick if the disease is diagnosed and treated quickly enough — but the fact that the disease still kills 655,000 people annually, 90% of them in Africa, would suggest that current diagnostics are failing.

IanXen RAPID replaces the dipsticks on which current ‘rapid detection tests’ rely, with a phone, a portable microscope attachment, a solar power source, lancets, microscope slides and fluids for the diagnostic. It takes under five seconds to get a diagnosis, and the full procedure, to log the patient and their test results, all takes place in less than three minutes.

Its functionality includes face recognition (helpful in countries with scant documentation), barcodes for blood samples, automated image analysis and encrypted report compilation and data exchange.

It’s quicker, easier and cheaper than what is currently available - costing 10 to 20 times less than existing tools.  

RAPID has been tested in two different laboratories and its performance thus far has been impressive, with an accuracy in excess of 98%.  The scale and devastating impact of Malaria make the incentives to support and develop this approach very strong. 

It is also one of a number of smartphone-based medical applications we have seen (PEEK, eCompliance and EYENETRA, amongst others), which collectively point to a 'medical mobile momentum', building an ever stronger argument for the use of lower-cost, more easily distributed medical technology.

Image 'Bed nets prevent malaria' courtesy of Gates Foundation

Last updated: 09th of July, 2014

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