We’ve seen Windows Phone 7 in a completely different domain doing things that it was never meant to do before, but this is an even more astonishing story.
Wilson To, a doctoral student in pathology at the University of California, combined his interests in pathology and photography to create a Windows Phone app that can test for malaria. Yes, you read that correctly – a Malaria test on a smartphone.
Using a Windows Phone 7 device with a mounted $50 micro lens, Wilson’s app – Lifelens – takes high-resolution images of the cells of a drop of blood and quickly analyzes them to confirm whether or not malaria is present.
Alternative (and cheaper) malaria tests do exist, but the longevity of Lifelens is in the fact that an app – unlike even the cheapest of malaria test kits – is reusable, which means that Lifelens (even with cost of the WP7 device and the micro lens) has lower long-run costs. What’s even more astonishing is that the analysis of the images taken can be extended to include tests for theoretically any blood-borne disorder.
It’s not surprising that Wilson’s team was a finalist in Imagine Cup 2011 in New York. It’s easy to see how Lifelens was a perfect fit in Imagine Cup, the goal of which is to get young innovators like you to solve the world’s toughest problems.
Want to solve a tough world problem through the use of technology? Register for next year’s Imagine Cup, which by the way it taking place in Sydney, Australia. If you make it to the finals, the cost of getting there is on Microsoft.
As for Windows Phone 7 going above and beyond it’s intended usage, what do you think will be the next astonishing WP7 app?