Medicine Stories June 22, 2015

The equipment needed to carry out a proper eye examination typically costs $20-40k; the Smart Vision Labs SVOne aims to reduce that cost to just $4k by using an iPhone as part of the kit. The iPhone takes a series of photos of the eye, while an app performs the analysis and generates a prescription.

We were given a demo of the kit last year (video below), but the company needed funding to make it possible. Smart Vision announced today that it’s raised $6.1M in institutional funding led by Techstars Ventures. The funding allows it to scale its production and expand the team, helping it reach an estimated billion people around the world who don’t currently have access to eye examinations …  expand full story

Medicine Stories May 7, 2015

One of the things I find most inspiring about the iPhone is the way it can be adapted to create very low-cost versions of what would otherwise be very expensive medical equipment, unaffordable in many parts of the world. We’ve previously seen this approach taken for things as diverse as HIV tests, skin cancer detection and eye injury diagnosis.

The UC Berkeley has just added blood parasite detection to the list, using a 3D-printed case, Arduini board with Bluetooth module and LED lighting …  expand full story

Medicine Stories July 29, 2014

Crowd-funding project aims to use iPhone kit to “eradicate malaria from an entire Indonesian island”

A crowd-funded project aims to use an iPhone-based malaria diagnosis kit to detect and treat the disease on the Indonesian island of Bangka. The team believes that early detection and treatment can enable the complete eradication of the disease from the island, and pave the way for larger-scale roll-outs in Africa.

We want to prove that we can have a significant effect on malaria case management throughout one of these regions. The first study of this kind will take place on Bangka Island in Indonesia. With this study, we have set ourselves the goal of eradicating malaria from the entirety of Bangka Island during malaria high season.

The IanXen RAPID kit comprises an iPhone with portable microscope attachment, blood slides and lancet pen. A blood drop is placed on the slide, examined through the microscope by an app with the result available within five seconds.

By enabling diagnosis to be carried out with fully portable kit and at a much lower cost than conventional equipment, IanXen hopes that it will be deployed much more widely.

3.3 billion people live at risk of malaria across 106 malaria-endemic countries. Although the risk is widespread, cases and deaths are concentrated in Africa. In 2010, over 80% of 216 million estimated cases and over 90% of 655,000 estimated deaths occurred in Africa.

Prompt diagnosis and effective treatment are the cornerstones of malaria case management; patients recover rapidly if diagnosed and treated early.

A donation of £5 ($8.50) helps fund the project and gets you a mention in the project’s twitter feed, with higher donation levels available.

Medicine Stories April 19, 2014

Apple has added Divya Nag, a rising star in the medical device community, to its in-house medical technology team, according to sources with knowledge of the hire. Nag made her entry into the medical technology world earlier this decade by co-founding Stem Cell Theranostics, a company that focuses on technologies for testing new medicines for the market and how the drugs will affect patients. Nag also participated in the Stanford-based StartX, an “accelerator” for medical technology-focused startups. Nag was just recently recognized for her many accomplishments in the medical and science fields with the Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 award.

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