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­CLA Researchers Combat Global Disease With a Cell Phone, Google Maps and a Lot of Ingenuity

By ­CLA Newsroom

April 30, 2012

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University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers say they have developed a compact and cost-effective rapid diagnostic test (RDT)-reading device that works with standard cell phones.

RDTs can be used for disease management and more efficient surveillance of outbreaks in high-risk areas. It also can be used by minimally trained technicians. "What we have created is a digital 'universal' reader for all RDTs, without any manual decision-making," says UCLA professor Aydogan Ozcan.

The RDT-reader attachment includes an inexpensive lens, three light-emitting diode arrays, and two AAA batteries. The platform can read almost any type of RDT. The system reads the digitized RDT image to determine if the test is valid and if the results are positive or negative. The platform then wirelessly transmits the results to a global server, which processes them, stores them, and uses Google Maps to create maps that chart the spread of various diseases and conditions.

"This platform would be quite useful for global health professionals, as well as for policymakers, to understand cause–effect relationships at a much larger scale for combating infectious diseases," Ozcan says.

From UCLA Newsroom 
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