A research team from University of Central Florida, US, has developed a new smartphone application that can help in rapid diagnosis of malaria.

The team’s prototype is a Windows 7-equipped Samsung Focus smartphone modified with a microscopic camera lens.

The software application can take a picture of a blood sample, analyse the data to detect malaria parasites, quantify how much malaria is in the sample and alert the user to the parasites.

According to researchers, the application can enable a doctor or nurse working in remote locations without internet access to make diagnosis without having to upload data for processing elsewhere

Researchers are now working on smartphone applications to detect sickle cell and other diseases.