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Digital Microscopy Changes The Diagnostic Game In Developing Nations

hand microscopeThe microscope has been one of the most important medical tools since its invention in the 16th century; by allowing scientists to visibly see bacteria and any damage that may have occurred, diagnosing ailments — from infection to disease — was exponentially easier. Since a clear diagnosis is crucial to treatment, and therefore recovery, microscopes have played a vital role in saving millions of lives.

Technology has changed since that first invention, allowing for the creation of digital microscopes and hand microscopes; these have multiple applications in a variety of fields, including industrial. The digital hand microscope, however, has been particularly influential in countries like Kenya.

Due to the fact that we live in such an advanced nation, it can be difficult to consider the hardships of others. Americans have access to sophisticated medical equipment, sensitive medicines, and some of the best doctors the world has to offer. Unfortunately, there are a number of developing nations — like Kenya — that simply don’t have the funds or facilities required to obtain these luxuries for themselves.

The African country suffers from overpopulation and poor water and waste management, which has resulted in a high incidence and prevalence of water- and sanitation-related diseases. Microscopes would go a long way in the treatment of these bacterial diseases, but the limited available physical space and cost implications of having a light microscopy and trained laboratory technologist at each site have made the achievement impossible.

Portable digital hand microscopes, however, are very user-friendly and its captured images can be shared, stored, and analyzed across digital platforms. This would allow clinicians at every facility to send their findings to a remote lab technician for analysis, drastically improving efficiency by removing the time required to physically transport specimens between locations. Handheld digital microscopes also create better quality control by allowing images to be saved for future reference.

There’s no doubt that handheld microscopes are in the process of changing the world. Whether industrial workers are using inspection microscopes to examine the intricacies of machines or doctors in foreign countries are diagnosing illnesses, the digital microscope has utterly improved our lives.

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A Look at Microscopes and Smartphone Cameras

When microscopes were invented, they changed the way people saw the world both around and within them. In a lot of ways, smartphones have done the same thing. Even before iOS and Android microscope apps were developed, the technology changed the way we live our lives.

Before going into the connection between smartphones and microscopes, it is worth taking a look at how microscopes were game changers in human life. In 1590, the first microscope was developed. While it is unclear who is actually responsible, the first patent for a telescope was filed by Hans Lippershey.

The first observations made with a microscope were made by Francesco Stelluti, an Italian scientist, in 1625. The first hand drawings of bacteria were made possible by this invention. Antoine van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch scientist, made them in 1683. At first, microscopes were used to look at insects but they also allowed scientists to discover cells. This changed the way we view the human body and science in general.

Using smartphones as microscopes started much earlier than the advent of the best Android microscope app. Before scientists used smartphones as microscopes, there were digital microscopes. And the first smartphone to be used as a microscope was an iPhone. Researchers took an iPhone, some rubber, tape, and a small glass ball and created a powerful microscope. This rudimentary microscope was able to capture images of red blood cells. The same researchers were also able to turn it into a device that could be used to read a person’s vital signs.

At the time, University California at Davis physicist, Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu, remarked that he was surprised by how cellphones could be transformed into research-grade tools and equipment. Cellphones also allowed people using them to record and share the images they captured. One other feature of using cellphone technology as laboratory equipment is the size. Regular laboratory equipment can be large and bulky. This makes it hard to travel with.

Today, iOS and Android microscope apps can take all of the work out of transforming a smartphone into high-powered laboratory tools and equipment. In fact, the camera on a smartphone can be used for a lot more tasks than just those handled by industrial microscopes. Here are some of the other things you can do with your smartphone:

  • Measure height, speed, and distance. There are a number of apps for both iOS and Android that can take measurements of heights, speeds, and distances. All you need to do is take a photo with a smartphone and, voila! Your measurements can be taken.
  • Learn more about the photos you take. Want to know more about a historic spot or famous picture? Take a picture of it and then do a Google search and you can get more information than you ever thought possible. You can do the same with QR codes or products you want to buy.
  • A smartphone can do your math homework. There is no need to claim your dog ate your homework when your phone can do it for you. Just snap an image and use an app to get the solution.
  • Look at tiny things. As was mentioned earlier, using your phone and an iOS or Android microscope app, you have a powerful microscope or magnifying glass with you all of the time.
  • You can cash your checks. More and more banks are allowing deposits from apps on your smartphone. All you need to do is open the app, take a picture of the front and back of your check, and the money will appear in your account within minutes.

There is no question that technology has changed the world in a number of wonderful ways. Microscopes changed how much of the world around us an in us that we can see. This changed the way we view ourselves and everything else. Microscopes led to scientific and medical breakthroughs that have saved many millions of lives all over the world.

Cellphone technology has changed the way we communicate, do business, and get around. By combining techniques such as the microscope with smartphones, new iOS and Android microscope apps can take it all a step further. These two inventions continue to change the world and the way we live in it.

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6 Industries That Utilize USB Inspection Microscopes

Scientists estimate that the human body contains anywhere from 75 to 100 trillion cells. Obviously, these cells aren’t visible to the naked eye, and can only be seen through some of the most innovative and high-tech inspection microscopes.

Now, thanks to some top-of-the-line technology, microscopes can come equipped with USB compatibility and digital software, making them easy to integrate into all kinds of workspaces. From education and aerospace to pharmaceutical and manufacturing, here are some of the applications for USB microscope cameras:

  • PCB microscopes — PCB industry professionals use inspection microscopes built with Polarizers to capture images under polarized light with clarity. These microscopes offer the highest level of both measurement and accuracy, and can also significantly reduce operator fatigue and stress over long examination periods.
  • Medical and laboratory microscopes — Medical professionals rely on microscope cameras in order to examine patients, educate patients and peers, inspect blood and tissue samples, and document microscopic findings. The USB microscope cameras can be paired with the majority of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software, as well
  • Industrial microscopes — Polarized lighting can be used to reduce glare and eliminate hot spots from reflective surfaces when inspecting microscopic components within the industrial sector. This polarization feature helps provide uniform illumination, subsequently bringing out more accurate surface details with minimal glare.
  • Forensic science microscope — The forensic science industry utilities microscopes to view objects in order to share results with industry colleagues. They can also document and store all the information they find across a digital network. Additionally, these inspection microscopes can be used for all kinds of scientific categories, including geology, archaeology, paleontology, mineralogy, and more.
  • Educational microscopes — From using microscopes for teaching tools to field, lab, and educational research, the educational community needs top-of-the-line quality microscopes for inspection.
  • Jewelry and collectables — Inspection microscopes are essential tools for jewelry, coin, and other collectors. These tools allow professionals to thoroughly examine stones, inspect for repairs, and assist in the appraisal process.

If you want to find or learn more about USB microscopes, contact Dino-Lite right away.

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Zooming In: A Brief History Of The Microscope

The microscope is one of the most important tools for researchers, scientists, students, and more, but this device didn’t just pop out of nowhere. While the technology has advanced to USB microscope cameras and handheld digital microscopes today, the most basic iteration of the microscope came with the invention of glass. By knowing the origins of the microscope, you can better understand the importance of it today.

 

A Dutch Beginning

 

The earliest and simplest inventions that could be categorized as microscopes were really magnifying glasses with one power. These were often used to look at fleas and other tiny insects, giving them the name “flea glasses.”

 

In 1590, a father-son team of Dutch spectacle makers, Hans and Zacharia Janssen, invented the first microscope by putting several lenses in a tube. Historians are not certain they were the very first ones to make this discovery, as Hans Lippershey filed the first patent for the telescope. In any case, the Janssens were the first to discover that they could magnify a small object close to them in much greater detail than with a simple magnifying glass.

 

The Idea Spreads

 

Galileo started experiments of his own after hearing of this discovery. He made improvements on both the microscope and the telescope by delving into the principles of lense and light rays. With the microscope, he added a focusing device and with the telescope he went on to make important discoveries among the stars.

 
Read more “Zooming In: A Brief History Of The Microscope”

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How Digital Microscopes Can Be Used In The Classroom…

For elementary school students, any opportunity for hands-on learning is valuable. With digital microscopes, students have an exciting new tool with which to explore science, math, and other interdisciplinary concepts. Allow your students to discover the world around them with these creative lesson plans that incorporate digital microscopes.

Explore Melting Ice

Your students have surely seen ice melt in a glass of water or the melting icicles at the end of winter, but have they ever seen this process magnified under a microscope camera? This lesson plan works well for second- and third-grade students. Begin by putting two ice cubes on a plate and asking your class to predict what will happen if you put salt on one of the ice cubes. Sprinkle it on and place the handheld digital microscope above the salted cube. As they observe the ice cube for one minute, have them take notes and discuss what they see. Continue watching and take pictures of the cubes every four minutes. At the end of the lesson, have the students draw conclusions about the effects of salt on ice.
Read more “How Digital Microscopes Can Be Used In The Classroom (Part One)”

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