Do you know what a hookworm is? It’s a filthy parasite which hides in your intestine, secured by a its hooks, and feeds on your blood. Ugh. They affect around 600 million people in the world, and can’t be detected with the human eye. Why the hell am I telling your about this in the Cult of Mac? Because an enterprising Canadian doctor has hacked his iPhone to diagnose the presence of these filthy animals.
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an internal-medicine specialist, turns the iPhone’s camera into a microscope and uses it to peer at human feces. The hack uses a tiny ball lens over the iPhone’s camera (for macros work), plus a couple of strips of padded tape to either side of this lens to stop the smeared sample slide from touching it. A battery-powered flashlight completes the kit.
Using this method (detailed in this PDF), Bogoch gets close to 70% accuracy. It’s not perfect, but as you can turn your iPhone into a microscope for just $15, it’s not bad at all: 70% of 600 million is still, uh, a big number.
Given that the iPhone’s camera is so hang, I wonder if somebody might come up with a custom-made medical microscope which brings this number closer to 100%? Now, please excuse me. I need to find a teaspoon that The Lady won’t miss, to take with me into the bathroom…