CellScope Accessory Turns iPhone into Microscope

The iPhone accessory arena has to be one of the largest in all of electronics. iDevice add-ons enable your gadgets to do anything from receive TV broadcasts to detecting cataracts, and everything in between.

Now we can add the CellScope to the iPhone’s list of interesting attachments. TUAW highlights the accessory, which turns your iPhone 4’s camera into a microscope…

Utilizing a device called an otoscope, CellScope enables your iPhone 4 to capture microscopic images.  The accessory is the result of a UC Berkeley project designed to aid mobile health services traveling to remote locations, where access to healthcare equipment is scarce.

The add-on is already at work, helping doctors to diagnose ear infections by taking digital photos of patient’s inner ears. The images can then be added to the the person’s electronic medical record, to compare with future photos of ear infections.

CellScope is capable of magnifying objects from 5x to 50x. The iPhone 4’s high-quality camera and ability to quickly share images, coupled with the accessory, turn the popular cellphone into a miniaturized research lab— at a fraction of the cost.

As TUAW points out, healthcare equipment is extremely expensive to begin with. Even a low-end microscope capable of wirelessly transmitting images can run thousands of dollars.

While this won’t replace equipment at major facilities, it sounds like the perfect companion for doctors on the go. Is this what Steve Jobs and company mean when they say that their products are magical? Sure, if you consider curing diseases magical.

What do you think?