Plenty of news reports this summer demonstrate how the smartphone is increasingly being leveraged as a platform for biomedicine. UCLA researchers who pioneered this field demonstrated at CLEO:2015 (San Jose, CA; May 11–14) an attachment that turns a smartphone into a fluorescence microscope, promising real-time diagnosis of various cancers, neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, and drug resistance in infectious organisms.
In other news, Smart Vision Labs (New York, NY) closed a $6.1M Series A funding round to help commercialize its SVOne smartphone-based ophthalmic device designed to perform vision exams wherever needed. MetaOptima Technology's (Vancouver, BC, Canada) new MoleScope, a smartphone-based microscope for monitoring skin cancer, has won regulatory approval in numerous countries, including the U.S. And researchers at the Hannover Centre for Optical Technologies (HOT) at Leibniz University Hannover (Hannover, Germany) have developed a self-contained fiber-optic sensor for smartphones with potential for detecting pregnancy and monitoring diabetes, among other applications.
Regardless of specific application, these systems offer low-cost, portable, real-time results—and increasingly, performance that competes with lab-based instruments. Though the technology has hurdles to cross in terms of acceptance, its progress is inevitable.
Editor in Chief