In this article, a collaborative research team from South Korea has developed a diagnostic system for use with smart phone technology that is able to identify viruses such as H5N1, or bird flu. The method for this identification being fluorescence excitation and analysis. All of which were smartphone battery powered. The complete setup includes as smartphone (galaxy S3 +others), an apparatus for the device, and samples on test strips.
In order to improve the optical quality of the smartphone features, an apparatus was created that held the phone in place in alignment with an LED light, excitation fiber, emission filter, and upper and lower reflector (parabolic mirrors). The apparatus had the smart phone facing downward to detect the fluorescence using an application in coordination with the diagnostic apparatus, which relayed information back to the phone. Test strips containing unidentified biological specimens would be placed underneath the phone.
Preliminary tests indicate that this method can be used with great accuracy. Of the 29 patients with H5N1, only 1 of them showed of false negative when subjected to smartphone analysis. This relates to pharmacy because potent viruses like H5N1 are public health concerns that could potentially warrant mass vaccinations. Vaccinations fall under the responsibility of a pharmacist, and we are often the most accessible healthcare professional when it comes to vaccinations on a large scale.
Do you think smartphone technology like this will become more prevalent in the future?
You can view the article here: Smartphone-Based Fluorescent Diagnostic System for Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Viruses.
Yeo S, Choi K, Cuc BT, et al. Smartphone-Based Fluoranalyzeescent Diagnostic System for Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Viruses. Theranostics. 2016 Jan 1;6(2):231-42