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Smartphones Move from Social Media to Social Medicine

Smartphones Move from Social Media to Social Medicine | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it

Cellphones have evolved from a luxury to a necessity in the past 20 years, and now smartphones are making those same inroads (as of September 2012, 45 percent of American adults owned a smartphone, according to research by the Pew Internet Project). With the added versatility and “brain power” supplied by these enhanced phones, as well as their superior imaging capabilities and bright, efficient light sources, their use in the field of medicine, perhaps more than any other application, has the power to improve our day-to-day existence.

A number of research groups throughout the world are developing, or have already developed, ways for mobile phones to be used as microscopy tools, something particularly useful in remote locations without access to such diagnostic systems.

Mobile phone microscopy layout schematic, prototype and sample images of the CellScope created at UC Berkeley. (a) Mobile phone microscopy optical layout for fluorescence imaging. The same apparatus was used for bright-field imaging, with the filters and LED removed. Components required only for fluorescence imaging are indicated. Not to scale. (b) A current prototype, with filters and LED installed, capable of fluorescence imaging. The objective is not visible because it is contained within the optical tubing, and the sample is mounted adjacent to the metallic focusing knob. (c) Bright-field image of 6-µm fluorescent beads. (d) Fluorescent images of beads shown in (c). The field of view projected onto the camera phone CMOS is outlined. Scale bars are 10 µm. Courtesy of “Mobile Phone Based Clinical Microscopy for Global Health Applications,” PLOS ONE, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006320.g001.


Here are just a few of the up-and-coming applications of smartphones in diagnostics that promise to improve life:

The Camera Culture research group at MIT’s Media Lab has created NETRA (Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment), a quick, simple and inexpensive way to determine your own glasses prescription, without the need for a trained professional. The device measures refractive errors of the eye – something that affects as many as 2 billion people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization – such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and age-related vision loss. If left untreated, the errors are the world’s second-highest cause of blindness.

The small plastic NETRA device forgoes the need for a Shack-Hartmann sensor to shine a laser into the eye of the patient and measure the reflected light with a wavefront sensor. It can be produced for less than $2 and clips onto a mobile phone screen. The subject uses the phone to signal when patterns projected onto the screen overlap. After the process is repeated several times at different angles for each eye, custom software loaded onto the phone crunches the data and creates a prescription, all within a few minutes.

Bioengineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have fitted a smartphone with magnifying optics to create a real “cell” phone – a diagnostic-quality microscope that can be used in developing countries.

The researchers, in the bioengineering and biophysics lab of Daniel Fletcher, initially envisioned a device so rugged that it could be used for high-resolution imaging outside of the lab. But Dr. Eva M. Schmid, who works in the lab, decided to evaluate the device, called CellScope, in a middle-school science classroom after a chance encounter with a secondary school science teacher in San Francisco.

The CellScope, created in the lab of bioengineering professor Daniel Fletcher, turns the camera of a standard cellphone into a diagnostic-quality microscope with a magnification of 5x to 60x.


Those middle schoolers helped develop the educational side of the device, using it for a year to take macroscopic and microscopic pictures of objects in their homes, gardens and other environments and then displaying them on the screen and posting them to social media platforms to promote discussion. The devices are now being tested with other classrooms and in museums.

Schmid described CellScope’s development at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in December in San Francisco.

The commercial potential of the CellScope attracted a $1 million investment last summer from Khosla Ventures, the venture capital firm led by Sun Microsystems Inc. co-founder Vinod Khosla.

“Health data, the key ingredient to useful analysis and diagnosis, is starting to explode exponentially – and CellScope is on the cutting edge,” Khosla said.

CellScope’s first consumer offering will be a smartphone-enabled otoscope that enables physicians to remotely diagnose ear infections in children from pictures taken by parents using the smartphone’s camera. Pediatric ear infections result in 30 million doctor visits annually in the US alone.

Future CellScope products will address throat and skin exams and nonclinical applications, including consumer skin care.

Dining out with severe food allergies can be nerve-racking, relying on a busy server or kitchen to make sure you’re not served something that could make you sick or, even worse, deathly ill. Even prepackaged foods can contain ingredients not listed on the label. Now, a team led by UCLA associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering Aydogan Ozcan wants to give control back to those with allergies by allowing them to test their meals on the spot using a cellphone.

The lightweight (less than 2 oz) device, called the iTube, uses the phone’s camera, in combination with an application, to test with the same high level of sensitivity as a lab would, Ozcan said.

Aydogan Ozcan and colleagues at UCLA have developed the iTube platform (Left), which attaches to a cellphone and uses colorimetric assays and a digital reader to detect allergens in food samples. (Right) A screen capture of the iTube App.


The device tests for allergens by optically measuring a sample of the food in question mixed with water and an extraction solvent, then mixing the prepared solvent with a series of other reactive testing liquids.

The method digitally converts raw images from the cellphone camera into concentration measurements detected in the food samples. The test goes beyond just a “yes” or “no” answer to the presence of allergens by quantifying how much of an allergen is in a sample, in parts per million.

Left: Ankit Mohan of MIT Media Lab’s Camera Culture research group holds NETRA, the Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment, a quick, simple and inexpensive way to measure refractive errors of the eye. Right: Mohan demonstrates the device.


The iTube platform can test for a variety of trigger foods, including peanuts, almonds, eggs, gluten and hazelnuts, Ozcan said.

“We envision that this cellphone-based allergen testing platform could be very valuable, especially for parents, as well as for schools, restaurants and other public settings,” Ozcan said. “Once successfully deployed in these settings, the big amount of data – as a function of both location and time – that this platform will continuously generate would indeed be priceless for consumers, food manufacturers, policy makers and researchers, among others.”

The device was introduced in 2012, and, so far, the UCLA researchers have successfully tested the iTube using commercially available cookies, analyzing the samples to determine if they have any harmful amounts of peanuts. Their research was recently published online in Lab on a Chip and will be featured in an upcoming issue of the journal.

In 2008, Ozcan’s lab introduced the imaging platform LUCAS (Lensless Ultrawide-field Cell monitoring Array platform based on Shadow imaging). Instead of using a lens to magnify objects, LUCAS generates holographic images of microparticles or cells by using an LED to illuminate the objects and a digital sensor array to capture their images. The technology can be used to image blood samples or other fluids in Third World countries, such as monitoring the condition of HIV and malaria patients, as well as testing water quality.

“This technology will not only have great impact in health care applications; it also has the potential to replace cytometers in research labs at a fraction of the cost,” Ozcan said in a 2008 university release announcing the technology.

Since then, he has built upon the LUCAS technology to develop a lensless microscope the size of a chicken egg for telemedicine applications.

KeepLoop Oy of Tampere, Finland, a spinoff of VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, last summer introduced what it said was the first digital mobile 3-D microscope. The prototype, capable of measuring surface microtopography, was demonstrated at the drupa 2012 exhibition in May in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The KeepLoop 3-D digital mobile microscope measures surface topography over an area of around 5 x 5 mm at approximately 10-µm resolution.


The portable system measures surface topography over an area of around 5 x 5 mm at about 10-µm resolution. Using the photometric stereo machine vision technique, three images with different illumination are combined, and 3-D data is calculated by a special algorithm.

The system is based on a custom-made optoelectronics device that attaches to the master device and forms the 3-D microscope together with the proprietary software. The technology can be implemented in mobile phones or tablets.

Improvements in microchip technology and new scientific advances enable scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas to tap into the terahertz range, a result that could lead to cellphones that can be used to see through walls, wood, plastics, paper and other opaque materials, they announced in the spring of 2012.

“We’ve created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use and lifesaving medical applications,” said UT Dallas electrical engineering professor Dr. Kenneth O. “The terahertz range is full of unlimited potential that could benefit us all.”

Using the new approach, images can be created with signals operating in the terahertz range without having to use several lenses inside a device, reducing overall size and cost.

To create their device, O and his team combined terahertz and CMOS microchips used in smartphones, personal computers and other consumer electronic devices.

“CMOS is affordable and can be used to make lots of chips,” O said. “The combination of CMOS and terahertz means you could put this chip and a transmitter on the back of a cellphone, turning it into a device carried in your pocket that can see through objects.” (Due to privacy concerns, they are focused on uses at a distance of less than 4 in.)

Consumer applications of such technology, they say, could range from document authentication and counterfeit detection to process control in manufacturing.

The research was presented at the 2012 International Solid-State Circuits Conference in February. The team will work next to build an entire working imaging system based on the CMOS terahertz system.

A sugar-cube-sized spectrometer developed at Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in Dresden, Germany, can be installed into smartphones and used in grocery stores to determine the ripeness of a piece of fruit or the tenderness of a slab of meat.

The application is based on a near-infrared spectrometer that measures the amount of water, sugar, starch, fat and protein present in products by shining a broad-bandwidth light onto the item in question and “looking” several centimeters below the surface. The item will reflect various wavelengths of light in the near-infrared range with different intensities, resulting in a spectrum that tells scientists what amounts of which substances are present in foodstuff. For instance, it can detect whether the core of an apple is already rotting.

“We expect spectrometers to develop in the same way that digital cameras did,” said Dr. Heinrich Grüger, who manages the business unit of Fraunhofer IPMS, where the system is being developed. “A camera that cost €500 ten years ago is far less capable than the ones you get virtually for free today in your cellphone.”

Conventional spectrometers are manufactured by assembling individual components: The mirrors, optical gaps, grating and detector each have to be put into place individually and properly aligned.

The Fraunhofer researchers instead manufacture the individual optical gaps and gratings directly onto silicon wafers, which are large enough to hold the components of several hundred spectrometers, enabling hundreds of near-infrared systems to be created at one time. They stack the wafers containing the integrated components on top of the ones bearing the optical components, then align and bind them, isolating them to form individual spectrometers. The resulting devices are more robust than their handmade counterparts.

Aside from inspecting food, the researchers are confident that the spectrometer could be used for forgery detection or to test the contents of cosmetic creams and drugs.

A prototype of the spectrometer was on display in May at Sensor + Test 2012 in Nuremberg. The scientists are working on a corresponding infrastructure for the device and say it could be ready for market launch within the next three to five years.

In November, Virginia Tech’s Arlington Innovation Center: Health Research announced that it had been awarded a $2.2 million contract from the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to develop the MedicPhone, a field smartphone for military medics.

The three-year research and development venture has two partners, including Seoul National University of South Korea for Android expertise, and Starix Technology of Irvine, Calif., for ultrawideband communications interfaces between the phone and field medical devices. The project expects to attract additional partners in the near future.

“We’ll be starting with state-of-the-art off-the-shelf components because there is just so much tech in the mobile phone market now, there’s no reason to duplicate that effort,” said Kenneth Wong, the principal investigator of MedicPhone Project.

The product Wong describes will likely be slightly larger and more robust than a cellphone and will enable military medics to monitor patients without the equipment usually associated with an intensive-care unit. The idea is to create a handheld device that can collect information on a patient’s condition from a variety of sources and provide medical teams with access to this data in a single, portable display. This feature will allow medics to monitor a patient from another location – an important consideration when medics are charged with multiple patients in austere or even hazardous environments.

“Medics carry a lot of equipment already, so anything we can do to reduce weight and size is good,” Wong said. “The idea of a phone is a useful platform – there is a lot of computer power in a small space, and it’s a familiar technology, so when people pick this up, they’ll be able to use it quickly.”

The team envisions that the phone will evolve into a hands-free mobile communication hub for military medics as well as civilian emergency responders.

A new kind of polymer that is cheap and easy to make reflects many wavelengths of light when viewed from a single perspective and could form the basis of handheld multispectral imaging devices, say researchers at the University at Buffalo in New York.

Engineers at the university developed a one-step method to fabricate the polymer, which will make it feasible to develop small devices that connect with cellphones to conduct multispectral imaging, said Qiaoqiang Gan, assistant professor of electrical engineering.


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Brenda I Ramirez's curator insight, July 1, 12:23 PM
Neat way to turn a phone camera into a microscopic lens even a spectrometer. This can be used as an investigative tool in any science classroom. Reminds me of a similar tech that allows for your phone camera to have infrared settings. Sounds really cool.
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Twenty places to find the best free stock photos - Designmodo

Twenty places to find the best free stock photos - Designmodo | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it

'There are a variety of websites where you can find free photos that are available for public use. Most of these images fall under a creative commons license ..."


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Made With Play: Game-Based Learning Resources

Made With Play: Game-Based Learning Resources | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
Edutopia's Made With Play series takes a look at game-like learning principles in action and commercial games in real classrooms -- and offers tips and tools for bringing them into your own practice.

Via JackieGerstein Ed.D., Made Hery Santosa, John Evans
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Sofie Kokelenberg's curator insight, December 26, 2013 10:10 AM

Seems like a hands on, structurized partial introduction to game based learning in action: what is already improving classrooms and why.

Kasey Howard's curator insight, September 21, 2016 10:21 PM

Videos that show game based learning in action in the classroom. Classroom management and formative assessment are among the topics of the various videos. 

David W. Deeds's curator insight, July 21, 2017 7:35 PM

Check this out! Thanks to Jackie Gerstein.

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Information Underload

Information Underload | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
For many years, the underlying thesis of the tech world has been that there is too much information and therefore we need technology to surface the best information. In the mid 2000s, that technology was pitched as Web 2.0. Nowadays, the solution is supposedly AI. I'm increasingly convinced, however, that our problem is not information…

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nukem777's curator insight, July 24, 2017 3:49 AM

Yup, Blame it on SEO and Marketing gamers!
I’m increasingly convinced, however, that our problem is not information overload but information underload. We suffer not because there is just too much good information out there to process, but because most information out there is low quality slapdash takes on low quality research, endlessly pinging around the spin-o-sphere.

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Google Launches Education Conference on Hangouts

Google Launches Education Conference on Hangouts | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
Google is launching an online education conference in May that's focused on innovating with the company's tools in classrooms.

Via EDTECH@UTRGV
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A great example of how Hangouts can be used for professional development.

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How Deductive Thinking Can Drive Student-Designed Research

How Deductive Thinking Can Drive Student-Designed Research | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
How Deductive Thinking Can Drive Student-Designed Research
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Educational Leadership:Technology-Rich Learning:The Basics of Blended Instruction

Educational Leadership:Technology-Rich Learning:The Basics of Blended Instruction | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner.
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A great resource on blended learning.

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10 Ways To Start Using Skype In The Classroom - Edudemic

10 Ways To Start Using Skype In The Classroom - Edudemic | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
Using Skype in the classroom shouldn't be a daunting task. In fact, it's a simple and effective education tool that not enough students get to try out!
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What Do You Want Kids to Do with Technology?

What Do You Want Kids to Do with Technology? | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it

Wrong Answers: make Prezis, start blogs, create Wordles, publish Animotos, design flipcharts, produce videos, post to Edmodo, use whiteboard, develop apps

 

Right Answers: raise awareness, start conversations, find answers (to THEIR questions), join partners, change minds, make a difference, take action, drive change

 

Technology is a TOOL, NOT an outcome


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Hannah Roukas's curator insight, October 22, 2013 7:55 AM

This post was short but to the point.  Technology should be one of the subjects kids learn in school, it should be used to help kids develop ideas.  Teachers should use technology to keep lessons interesting so kids don't fall asleep or become uninteresting.

Geoff Findley's curator insight, November 29, 2013 1:08 AM

Good to think about...

Cynthia Phoa's curator insight, March 3, 2015 7:31 PM

Thank you!

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OllieBray.com: Projects, Products and Articles

OllieBray.com: Projects, Products and Articles | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
Ollie Bray is based in the Scottish Highlands but works internationally to improve classrooms, schools and education systems though technology and outdoor learning.
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10 Podcasting Projects Every Teacher Should Try

10 Podcasting Projects Every Teacher Should Try | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
Find education news, teaching strategies, lesson plans, activity ideas and more on the WeAreTeachers blog. Featuring posts by guest bloggers and teachers as well as WeAreTeachers editors.
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Many of these ideas can be applid as podcasts or video artifacts.

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21 Awesome Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics for 2013 | Jeffbullas's Blog

21 Awesome Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics for 2013 | Jeffbullas's Blog | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
Social media networks are continuing to grow led by some key factors. These include mobile usage and acceptance by the older generation. Google+ is now the second largest network, Twitter is the fastest growing with Facebook still the biggest.
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The Top 100 Tools to Capture, Edit, Publish and Distribute Video Online

The Top 100 Tools to Capture, Edit, Publish and Distribute Video Online | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
The best tools and services to capture, edit, publish and distribute video online.

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David W. Deeds's curator insight, September 12, 2016 7:06 PM

Geeky-cool stuff! Thanks to Elizabeth E. Charles. 

António Leça Domingues's curator insight, September 16, 2016 3:49 AM
Top de ferramentas para edição e distribuição online de vídeos.
Ihor Kobets's curator insight, November 28, 2016 1:21 PM
Share your insight
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Maslow, technology and learning

Maslow, technology and learning | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
learning, technology, education, steve, wheeler, social media, internet, mobile, school, teachers

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The human insights missing from big data

The human insights missing from big data | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
Why do so many companies make bad decisions, even with access to unprecedented amounts of data? With stories from Nokia to Netflix to the oracles of ancient Greece, Tricia Wang demystifies big data and identifies its pitfalls, suggesting that we focus instead on "thick data" -- precious, unquantifiable insights from actual people -- to make the right business decisions and thrive in the unknown.

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How to Credit Your Website Blog Images | IndieMade

How to Credit Your Website Blog Images | IndieMade | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
“Hey, that’s mine!” You heard it on the playground just before a fight broke out, but if you hear it today in regard to tusing pictures on blogs, you’ll find yourself in a whole different sort of fight: a legal one.
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Survey Examines Students' Web Research Skills

Survey Examines Students' Web Research Skills | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
A new study shows that librarians have little confidence in student skill level when it comes to both properly paraphrasing and identifying credible Web sources in research when compared to students’ evaluations of themselves.
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“People often take what they see in their news feeds at face value (even articles from The Onion!). Students are not critically thinking about information they come across throughout the day, and this data shows that that mindset does not shift when it comes to school assignments,” said Gover.   

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Teaching Students How to Research for Understanding with Technology

Teaching Students How to Research for Understanding with Technology | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
Searching for information on the Internet can be extremely challenging for our students. This is widely due to the sheer amount of information that is currently available out there. A lot of teache...
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Scale of Universe - Interactive Scale of the Universe Tool

Scale of Universe - Interactive Scale of the Universe Tool -
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This is a great resource to help students conceptualize the scale of different objects studied.

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Cool Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom

Cool Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it
This article offers fun, free ways to use Skype to expand the experiences of the students in the classroom.
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Blogging Permission Form « Trails Optional

Blogging Permission Form « Trails Optional | EDUC4764 | Scoop.it

"A few years ago, Zoe Branigan Pipe (@zbpipe)and I saw the need for a permission form when we were using all sorts of web 2.0 tools. ..."

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This blogging permission forms a great starting point for introducing blogging into your classroom.

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