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Global Focus Microscope

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This Global Health Medical Device is designed for or implemented within resource-limited settings - Browse the devices - Add a device

Health Topic Tuberculosis
Classification Diagnosis
Scope Clinical trial
Location Africa, Asia

Problem being addressed

Tuberculosis is the second largest infectious cause of death in the world. It is highly prevalent in low resource settings because the equipment necessary, fluorescence microscopes, is high cost ($40,000 USD), leading to difficulty in properly diagnosing the infection.

Detailed description of the solution

The Global Focus Microscope analyses sputum smears (saliva and mucus mixture coughed up by a patient) to detect the presence of tuberculosis and malaria. The device is portable (small size and weight), is battery operated, has up to 1000x magnification, and is a low cost option ($240 USD to manufacture).

Designed by

  • Designed by: Andrew Miller - Rice University, Houston, TX
  • Manufacturer (if different): 3rd Stone Design
  • Manufacturer location: San Rafael, California

When and where it was tested/implemented

Tested in Tehran, Iran in 2010.

Funding Source

Rice University received a $2.2 million grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2006)


Peer-reviewed publication

Andrew R. Miller, Gregory L. Davis, Z. Maria Oden, Mohamad Reza Razavi, Abolfazi Fateh, Morteza Ghazanfari, Farid Abdolrahimi, Shahin Poorazar, Fatemeh Sakhaie, Randall J. Olsen, Ahmad Reza Bahrmand, Mark C. Pierce, Edward A. Graviss, Rebecca Richards-Kortum. (2010) Portable, Battery-Operated, Low-Cost, Bright Field and Fluorescence Microscope. Retrieved July 3, 2014 from [1]

Other internally generated reports

Rice University. (2011). Global Focus Microscope. Retrieved July 3, 2014 from [2]

3rd Stone Design Inc. Global Focus Microscope. Retrieved July 3, 2014 from [3]

Externally generated reports

Ben Coxworth. (2010). US $240 TB-detecting microscope on par with $40,000 devices. Retrieved July 3, 2014 from [4]

Priya Sabu. (2011). Cutting the price tag for microscopy diagnostics. Retrieved July 3, 2014 from [5]

Dr. Margaret Chan. (2010) Despite progress TB is the second biggest infectious killer of adults. Retrieved July 2, 2014 from [6]

IP and copyright

Approval by regulatory bodies or standards boards