Bioengineering Professor Dan Fletcher wrote a short opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal Friday, September 20, 2013.
Titled “Why Your iPhone Upgrade Is Good for the Poor”, Fletcher described how more powerful smartphones are driving the development of innovative, portable, wireless technology that can help people living in extreme poverty.
“Customers set on having the latest, greatest smartphones are driving a dramatic decrease in cost and increase in functionality that will benefit people whose total annual income is often less than the cost of a single phone,” said Fletcher.
One excellent example of this is the CellScope, developed in Fletcher’s lab. A smartphone-based microscope, the CellScope project has taken off as a university project and a startup company, screening for parasitic worm infections in Cameroon, providing early warning of oral cancer in India, and more.
“With smartphones capable of providing basic primary-care services and diagnostic work,” he wrote, “and with expanding wireless services that allow doctors to interpret results and recommend treatments remotely, many of the services we enjoy at the doctor’s office will be available in the field–anywhere in the world.”
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