University of Illinois researchers developed a cradle and app for the iPhone to make a handheld biosensor that uses the phone's own camera and processing power. [Brian T. Cunningham]

If you had to pick the most compelling mHealth, or mobile health, application, you might well pick mDiagnostics—the ability to perform laboratory work outside the laboratory. mDiagnostics promises to bring on-the-spot testing to poor and remote areas where conventional tools such as microscopes, cytometers, and colorimeters are unavailable.

Mobile, off-the-grid diagnostic tools are best compact. But, beyond that, choices abound. mDiagnostic tools could be sleek, self-contained, standalone devices. Or they could be modular. For example, an mDiagnostic tool could consist of an add-on device plugged into a general-purpose platform, the smartphone.

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