December 16, 2020
Scientists have developed a novel smartphone-based technique to diagnose viral infections that uses a deep learning algorithm to identify viruses in metal nanoparticle-labeled samples, enabling rapid virus detection without the need for skilled laboratory workers and expensive equipment. The system correctly identified clinically relevant concentrations of Zika, hepatitis B (HBV), or hepatitis C (HCV) in 134 patient samples with 98.97% sensitivity. Mobile phone subscribers are on the rise worldwide, including in sub-Saharan African populations that are heavily burdened by infection outbreaks. Since these widely available technologies also possess powerful new computing abilities and built-in sensors, scientists have identified mobile phones as a promising tool to help manage infectious diseases worldwide.