Illustration of a smartphone as a spectrometer

Medical team uses iPhone in research to detect cancers and achieves 99% accuracy

If there is one area in which Apple strives to contribute to improvements, it is that of Cheers. Admittedly, the company bets its chips on the Apple Watch to be the device responsible for helping to improve people’s quality of life. This time, however, the device responsible for helping health research was the iPhone.

Washington State University announced on its website that a team of researchers led by the assistant professor Lei Li managed to transform the Apple smartphone into a low-cost “portable laboratory” capable of offering the same quality as any other laboratory.

Illustration of a smartphone as a spectrometerIllustration of a smartphone as a spectrometer

Li says the portable laboratory can detect Interleukin-6 (IL-6) – a tumor marker found in the lungs, prostates, livers and sinuses – by examining the samples using a spectrometer. This structure, however, is not innovative; in fact, the big difference in creation is the ability to analyze up to eight different samples at once. In this way, the diagnostic accuracy rate reaches 99%!

The tests were carried out on an iPhone 5, but the professor reported that he is working on an adjustable unit so that it can suit any other smartphone.

iPhone spectrometer

The research has already passed tests for use in real situations. The efficiency and portability of the invention are such that, in addition to being able to be used in hospitals and clinics in the United States that have a large number of samples and few laboratories, the professor says that it can be used by doctors who work in remote places and they cannot transport entire laboratories with them.

This would allow taking the technology to places where the diagnosis of cancer has not yet advanced or is still too expensive. An initiative that will certainly save a lot of lives!

[via 9to5Mac]