Smartphone Cameras Can Now Be Used in Diagnosing Viral Diseases

December 29, 2020 14:35:22

A group of scientists from a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has designed a system that uses a smartphone camera to check for disease-causing infections. The study was reported in the “Science Advances” journal.

In the paper, the team of researchers explains how the system works. The system requires a smartphone system that utilizes a deep learning algorithm that has been trained and an external catalytic microchip device.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected most if not all countries across the globe, with most industries also experiencing the detrimental effects caused by the pandemic. To be better prepared in the event that another pandemic arises, researchers have been exploring various ways that may help slow or even prevent the spread of a new pandemic.

In an attempt to do this, the group of researchers in Massachusetts designed the smartphone system, which can be utilized by individuals who are not from the medical field to test for disease-causing infections. The device includes a smartphone, software and a catalytic microchip device.

To conduct a test, a sample of a body fluid that has been collected is inserted into the catalytic microchip’s device channel and then saturated with a minute quantity of hydrogen peroxide. The reaction resulting from this mixture produces bubbles that develop in patterns that are unique and are based partly on viruses found in the sample.

The individual using the device could then use the smartphone camera to launch the trained algorithm, which has been taught to recognize patterns that in turn recognize the viruses present in the fluid sample. Users do this by pointing their cameras at the bubbles from the sample. The complete procedure takes about an hour.

The scientists have so far trained the system to pick out three viruses: hepatitis C and B and the Zika virus. Testing has shown that the system is 99% accurate. In addition, the system is also more cost effective in comparison with other systems being designed and is portable, which is an added advantage.

The researchers propose that this system may be taught to recognize novel viruses if need be, adding that in the future, the catalytic microchip device may be dispatched to areas with high transmission risks and infection rates. The researchers note that this technology could also be used to help put an end to pandemics in the future if used extensively. Furthermore, the system may be of immediate use in areas that are prone to infections but lack testing labs.

Speaking of diagnostic capabilities, Massachusetts-based Imagin Medical Inc. (CSE: IME) (OTCQB: IMEXF) has distinguished itself through its state-of-the-art imaging systems, such as the one which make it possible for minimally invasive bladder cancer surgery to be done.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Imagin Medical Inc. (CSE: IME) (OTCQB: IMEXF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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