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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

Cell phone software creates new possibilities for precision medicine

Embedded in our society is a cultural memory of the old-time family doctor, a medical practitioner who knows of your family, your history, and your daily life, and uses that knowledge to provide the most optimal care. One Illinois faculty member and his research team have been working to move closer to that goal by exploiting a piece of familiar technology—the smartphone that can now be found in the average American’s pocket.

New handheld spectral analyzer uses smartphone to detect disease

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed technology that enables a smartphone to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that typically require large, expensive instruments. Costing only $550, the spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity (TRI)-Analyzer from Bioengineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Brian Cunningham's lab attaches to a smartphone and analyzes patient blood, urine, or saliva samples as reliably as clinic-based instruments that cost thousands of dollars.

Movement analysis app detects level of lung disease

Nearly 16 million Americans are afflicted with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a progressive disease where the lung gradually loses its ability to pump enough oxygen to the rest of the body. According to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COPD is the third-leading cause of death in the United States and only half of the actual cases are diagnosed.

Cradle turns smartphone into handheld biosensor

Cradle turns smartphone into handheld biosensor

Researchers and physicians in the field could soon run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, medical diagnostics, food safety and more with their smartphones.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a cradle and app for the iPhone that uses the phone’s built-in camera and processing power as a biosensor to detect toxins, proteins, bacteria, viruses and other molecules.

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