MobiScopy - Combining Microscopy with Mobile Networks
Combining microscopy with mobile networks
Rural health care clinics, such as those found in Sub-Saharan Africa, are typically under-staffed and lack training and support. Microscopes are the main instruments used for diagnosis of infectious diseases. While they are available at most levels of health clinics, the lack of education, confidence, (other) resources and experience among the staff is a key cause of misdiagnosis of diseases, leading to inappropriate treatment and thus poor patient care.
For a more detailed description of the system, please refer to this article:
Tuijn, C.J., Hoefman, B.J., van Beijma, H., Oskam, L., Chevrollier, N. 2011, Data and Image Transfer Using Mobile Phones to Strengthen Microscopy-Based Diagnostic Services in Low and Middle Income Country Laboratories, PLoS ONE 6(12): e28348. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028348
MobiScopy addresses these challenges by combining microscopy with mobile networks to create a knowledge sharing forum specifically designed for rural health care workers discussing microscopic images they encounter.
The system consists of a physical device connecting the mobile phone camera to a micropscope and an IT platform. These leverage existing and accessible technologies to easily capture, share, discuss and validate digital images of microbes amongst rural health care workers, their peer group and more experienced medical professionals. MobiScopy empowers inexperienced and inadequately trained health care workers to meet quality assurance standards and to more effectively and confidently identify and diagnose various parasitical and bacterial infections. Improvement of current quality control procedures can be determined by evaluating the existing and new systems concurrently over a period of time.
The idea of MobiScopy was developed by TNO-Quality of Life (KVL) and Royal Tropical Institute Biomedical Research (KIT-BR) in January 2008. Part of MobiScopy was handed over to TNO-ICT and a student from the TU Delft was involved in making the physical device. Later in 2008/2009 a consortium was formed between TNO-ICT and KIT-BR. Text to Change (TTC) was added as partner to the consortium in December 2009.
A ‘proof of concept’ was successfully carried out in Uganda in the beginning of 2010 by KIT, TNO and TTC. The results have been published in a PloS One article in December 2011.
For further information about MobiScopy and how to get involved, please contact one of the consortium members.
Nicolas Chevrollier - TNO
Coosje Tuijn - KIT Biomedical Research
Hajo van Beijma - TextToChange