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News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

New smartphones could test for AIDS in rural Africa

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South African and South Korean researchers are working on making a smartphone capable of doing AIDS tests in rural parts of Africa that are the worst hit by the disease, a researcher said Friday.

The team have developed a microscope and an application that can photograph and analyse blood samples in areas far from laboratories to diagnose HIV and even measure the health of immune systems.

“Our idea was to obtain images and analyse images on this smartphone using applications,” said Jung Kyung Kim, a professor in biomedical engineering at Kookmin University in South Korea.

The gadget, called Smartscope, is a small 1-millimeter (0.04-inch) microscope and light which clips over a smartphone’s camera.

A standard chip with a blood sample then slides into the gadget in front of the microscope. Next, a special phone programme photographs the sample and analyses the cells.

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