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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-54

Development of a low-cost smartphone-connected digital microscope

1 Department of Physiology, Fakir Mohan Medical College, Balasore, Odisha, India
2 Department of Physiology, Raiganj Government Medical College and Hospital, Raiganj, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Anatomy, Rampurhat Government Medical College and Hospital, Rampurhat, West Bengal, India
4 Department of Anatomy, Fakir Mohan Medical College, Balasore, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shaikat Mondal
Department of Physiology, Raiganj Government Medical College and Hospital, Raiganj, Uttar Dinajpur - 733 134, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JMAU.JMAU_35_19

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Introduction: Modern light microscopes are available with built-in illuminator and facility of photomicrography. This enables the microscopy to be ready for telemedicine. However, resource-limited settings still find difficulty in procuring those microscopes. Aim: The aim of this study was to upgrade a light microscope to a smartphone-connected digital microscope with minimal cost to make it ready for telemedicine. Materials and Methods: A commercially available (price: ₹389) Universal Serial Bus (USB) web camera was set on the eyepiece and fixed with the help of an aluminum sheet. Light emitting diodes (LEDs), covered with an optical diffuser, were set below the condenser. The camera was connected to an Android smartphone with an application for capturing image and video. Sixteen faculty members provided their opinion about the new device. Results: The smartphone-connected microscope was successfully used to focus and capture image and video of various slides. The images and videos were stored in the smartphone and shared via E-mail and other channels (e.g., WhatsApp and Telegram). This camera was also successfully connected to a laptop for projecting the real-time microscopic field on a screen. According to faculty members, focusing an object and capturing the image are the best features of the device; however, development of the device received lowest score. Conclusion: A light microscope was upgraded to telemedicine ready microscope with nominal cost and moderate effort. It can also be used in medical teachings as it can project real-time images of a slide under the microscope. As it is equipped with LEDs, powered by the same smartphone, it can be operated without daylight or during a power outage.

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