Microsoft has awarded an Imagine Cup Grant to a team that developed a custom Windows Phone 7 and application that can diagnose malaria then upload the data to cloud servers that map the data to help track outbreaks.
Called LifeLens, the application requires phone hardware that includes a 350x magnification lens. The phone photographs a stained blood sample and the application analyzes it, counting the total number of blood cells in the photo and the number of those containing stained malaria parasites.
The application can be used to diagnose the disease, and also to upload the data to health monitoring groups that want to track the disease, according to the lifelensproject.com website. The group that developed LifeLens says the app is more accurate than the current quick field test, which has a 60% false positive rate.
The prize was announced at the World Economic Forum today. The idea of the grant is to encourage young people to create commercial businesses or nonprofits based on projects they develop using Microsoft products.
The grant includes $75,000, software, cloud computing services, solution provider support, Microsoft BizSpark account benefits and access to local resources such as the Microsoft Innovation Centers. Microsoft will also connect grant recipients with its network of investors, nongovernmental organization partners and business partners.
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