Researchers at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign have created a US$200 piece of hardware that turns any iPhone into a high-resolution spectrometer. The device allows the user to test for pathogens, toxins, allergens in food and perform medical diagnostic tests.
The device is essentially a cradle with different lenses and filters. Users put a microscope slide into the cradle and line it up with the iPhone's camera and the additional lenses or filters. The companion app measures the white fluctuations, which allows it to analyze the substance under the lens. What's amazing is this entire solution costs only $200 and is just as accurate as $10,000 machines used in laboratories currently.
Now that the researchers know the device works, they are currently working to add functionality to it, such as vitamin A and D testing, which will enable medical practitioners in developing countries to cheaply and easily test a patient's levels to help make sure they are getting the proper nutrition that will help children develop properly.