One of the things about modern healthcare is that it is often beyond the economic reach of the vast majority.
“Anything we came up with, if we can’t scale it to the cost it needs to be, it doesn’t really reach anywhere”, says the inventor of the incredibly low-cost paper microscope, Manu Prakash. A bioengineer at Stanford, his latest invention might save lives of millions of people across the globe.
Known as the Foldscope, this brilliant paper microscope can be packed and shipped in simple DIY kits and can be assembled by anyone within minutes.
It basically constitutes of three parts that include the paper slip for the slide, a ball-shaped lens and an LED light for illumination. Dr. Prakash, says that his ultimate goal is to equip every kid with a microscope that he can carry around.
Apart from fueling scientific curiosity among young minds, this ultra-cheap invention can offer better health care for people in developing and under-developed countries.
Developers are currently working on a Foldscope with projection system which allows them to work from a safe distance in case of certain hazardous situations containing infectious samples.
Another line of thought is to develop future Foldscope devices that will be specifically configured to analyze sample of a particular disease.
This will help save both time and costs and should allow healthcare providers to offer far better services.
These little wonders should come in particularly handy in case of contagious epidemics like the recent Measles outbreak in California.
We hope that these portable wonders do start shipping soon!