An Ingenious Microscope Could Change How Quickly Disease Is Detected

August 23, 2019

(The Atlantic) – So Prakash and his colleague Hongquan Li built a fancier microscope—a high-speed, malaria-detecting device that they’ve called Octopi. It can automatically scan entire blood-smeared slides for malaria parasites, using a neural network trained on more than 20,000 existing images. Octopi works off a phone charger. It analyzes slides at speeds that are 120 times faster than traditional microscopy. Weighing fewer than seven pounds, it’s portable. And at a do-it-yourself cost of $250 to $500, it’s cheaper than many basic microscopes or other automated slide-analyzing devices.

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