OnRecycle Blog
iPhone 4S Transformed into a Microscope

iPhone 4S Transformed into a Microscope

An iPhone 4S has been used to diagnose intestinal worm infections in school children from rural Tanzania, Africa. Yum.

The team, headed by researcher Dr Isaac Bogoch, who specialises in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Toronto General Hospital and including leading experts from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, transformed the handset into a makeshift microscope by taping a glass slide with stool samples onto the iPhone, lighting the sample from behind with a bog-standard torch, taking a picture with the phone’s camera and then examining it. Nice.

And the results were pretty accurate. When checked with a laboratory microscope they showed a 70% detection accuracy in stools where the infections were present, and a 90% accuracy in more heavily infected ones. Not too shabby.

Intestinal worms affect up to 2 billion people around the world – largely from poorer areas. "These parasitic infections cause malnutrition, stunted growth, and stunted mental development," said Dr Bogoch "It's a big deal, a big problem."

We get you, Bogoch, but we’re not quite sure why normal microscopes can’t just be used, but, hey, good times!

If you have an old iPhone 4S banging around, instead of transforming it into a microscope like these crazy fools did, why not recycle your phone with us here at OnRecycle – for a 64GB model we can get you £253.50. Not bad, right?