More than one thousand million people play videogames. More than 70% of them do it from their mobiles. At the same time, thousands of people die because of diseases which weren’t diagnosed. What if we could connect these two realities?
According to the World Health Organization approximately 216 million cases of malaria occur in the world and the disease kills about 655,000 people. Malaria is a treatable infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells.
Currently, “the gold standard” for malaria diagnosis worldwide consists of first detecting parasites and then counting the number of parasites in blood smears, manually through a microscope- usually the more the parasites more severe is the infection. An average of 100 images has to be visually checked by a specialist; a process that can take up to 30 minutes. Confirmation of a negative diagnosis is ultimately dependent on the technician’s expertise.
Thus, we need scalable, fast, ubiquitous and accurate screening systems (a priority in the agenda for malaria eradication). Mobile phone coverage is reaching every corner of the planet and we see the global connectivity as an opportunity to distribute the images all over the internet. This is where you come in. We believe that there is so much on-line talent out there that can be used to analyze malaria images (while you play a game!). We have already developed 3 games to test this concept: MalariaSpot, TuberSpot and MalariaSpot Bubbles. We have published the results from MalariaSpot data, we are working on the TuberSpot publication and we have just started collecting data from MalariaSpot Bubbles.
Best Social Innovation by MIT Technology Review en Español. Miguel Luengo-Oroz, founder of the project, is an Ashoka Fellow since 2013. The project was awarded by MIT and Madrid with the IDEA2 award from MVISION to foster biomedical technology innovation. In March 2013, our project was a finalist in the Next Century Innovators Awards from the Rockefeller Foundation for innovations and breakthroughs that aim to solve entrenched social problems and foster lasting change in the systems that affect vulnerable people.
Crowdsourcing Malaria Parasite Quantification: An Online Game for Analyzing Images of Infected Thick Blood Smears , Journal of Medical Internet Research 2012;14(6):e167 – M. Luengo-Oroz, A. Arranz, J. Frean
Gamers join real-life fight against malaria and tuberculosis, The Lancet Infectious Diseases , Volume 16 , Issue 4 , 418 – L. Albers
The power of crowds, Science, 01 Jan 2016: 32-33 – P Michelucci, J. L. Dickinson
Thanks for being part of the Team!
Antidisciplinar scientist. MalariaSpot Founder. firstname.lastname@example.org
María Póstigo Camps
Biomedical Images Specialist Project Manager. email@example.com
Daniel Cuadrado Sánchez
Videogames & Apps Developer firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaime García Villena
Industrial engineer. 3D Printing Design Specialist
Telecommunications Engineer Software and Hardware Developer email@example.com
Sandra Cabria Fuente
Technology innovation for education
María Jesús Ledesma Carbayo
Biomedical Images Researcher
Malaria Medical Researcher
Malaria Specialist Researcher