LONDON — Star Trek's tricorder may be one step closer to reality. The BBC on Tuesday reported that a team has developed an app and small lens add-on that allows blood-cell analysis via a smartphone.
The Athelas app can detect diseases such as malaria and cancers in seconds, through predictive cell counting, according to the team that developed the app.
"We've built a low-cost lens attachment to the smartphone camera that images blood at high magnification," the team wrote in describing the app. "The attachment magnifies and focuses on the sample by means of a 1-mm ball lens. Most importantly, we've implemented computer vision to algorithmically count and identify cells in the bloodstream to automatically diagnose diseases and conditions."