Mobile Phone Microscope Imaging for e-health Applications at Low Resource Setting; Image Processing for Automatic Counting of Blood Cells

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Addis Ababa University


BACKGROUND: currently, there is limited information on study to design web page that incorporates a clinical laboratory atlas and to couple, portable mobile phone- microscope imaging (PMPMI) device for e-health application in low resource settings (specially in Ethiopia) to enable the health extension workers (HEW)/community health workers (CHWs) promote early detection and protection of diseases by means of automatic complete blood cell (CBC) count. MATERIAL and METHODS: collect HP-model mobile phone, Microscope Eye piece, objective lens, 300 clinical laboratory slides; develop a comprehensive technique that includes designing and assembling a mobile attached microscope, a web page that incorporates a clinical laboratory atlas, image sharing apps and rigorous mathematical algorithm for automatic CBC count to test the quality and functionality of the new device. RESULTS: the proposed coupled mobile phone-microscope imaging device is able to share sample images with next level lab technologists/pathologists via image sharing open applications and the developed image processing scheme allows automated CBC count on images acquired through the new coupled system. The counting algorithm offered an overall accuracy of 90% in RBC count and 99.9% in WBC count. Additionally, web site is developed to upload lab-atlas images for further reference. CONCLUSIONS: The new coupled mobile phone-microscope device functions in white light settings. The work promotes early detection and protection of diseases and presented here as a cost-effective option. The device has been designed in such a way that it could be used not only by HEWs but also by the higher-level hospital laboratory personals. The effectiveness of the developed cell counting algorithm could show the great promises of the proposed imaging system and the new device.



Mobile Phone Microscope, Health Extension Worker (HEW), Tel-laboratory, e-health, Website, Atlas, Complete Cell Count (CBC), Mathematical Algorithm