This is how innovation works – diagnosing diabetes with cell phone cameras

Why would you use a cell phone camera to diagnose diabetes and other potentially debilitating diseases? Apparently symptoms of diabetes and hypertension are visible in blood vessels in the eyes.

Why am I writing about this? A team of graduate students from UC Davis was just awarded a prize in “the Imagine Cup contest, sponsored by Microsoft, (that) asks students to use Microsoft technology to help solve a problem identified by the United Nations – in this case, the health of children in developing countries.”

“With phones running the team’s software, a trained person can take a picture or video of a child’s eye and transmit the image to a server that runs tests to determine if the child is likely to have diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. Symptoms of those disorders are visible in close-up pictures of blood vessels in the eye.

After the tests are performed on the images, the software sends a text message back to the phone, allowing the person in the field to make a more detailed diagnosis.”

This is so cool.  One of the most interesting parts of the article, Wilson To, the team leader, is a graduate student in veterinary medicine.

Read the whole article by Laurel Rosenhall and follow her on Twitter @laurelrosenhall

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