Smartphone Spectrometer Can Measure Oxygen and Diagnose Disease
Optics is a science of light that is finding an increasingly bigger role in medicine, because of digitalization, and the use of the camera system of the powerful little computer, known as a smartphone.
Not only is optics giving primary physicians handheld tools to closely examine diseased ears, and the state of the retina, but the powerful camera of the iPhone is being used to fashion an inexpensive portable spectrometer.
Spectrometers use measurements of the wavelengths of light to distinguish objects, because of the ability of different molecules to absorb different wavelengths of light. In this fashion, different moleculte can be identified by their characteristic wavelength fingerprint.
Besides application in science class, there are innumerable applications in medicine, for a portable, cheap, wireless, mobile device to identify substances in blood, and other bodily fluids. A team of researchers from the University of California, Davis has done much work in this niche of optic medical diagnosis via a smartphone, which is sure to grow, since the technology is so cheap, portable, and wireless. It would certainly be useful in rural areas as well as third-world countries.
And, since it will be more likely to be explored as a tool to identify substances, because of the low cost, the technology will be more fully explored, and many uses for diseasse detection are sure to occur.
(For further info on the SmartPhone used as a Spectrometer, go HERE)