About MalariaSpot


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What is MalariaSpot?

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 develop 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. MalariaSpot belongs to the social enterprise Spotlab.


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.

Research Articles

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 tuberculosisThe Lancet Infectious Diseases , Volume 16 , Issue 4 , 418 – L. Albers

The power of crowdsScience, 01 Jan 2016: 32-33 – P Michelucci, J. L. Dickinson

The Team


Thanks for being part of the Team!

Miguel Luengo-Oroz

Antidisciplinar scientist. MalariaSpot Founder. miguel@malariaspot.org

María Póstigo Camps

Biomedical Images Specialist Project Manager. maria@spotlab.org

Daniel Cuadrado Sánchez

Videogames & Apps Developer danielcuadrado@spotlab.org

Jaime García Villena

Industrial engineer. 3D Printing Design Specialist

Alex Vladimirov

Telecommunications Engineer Software and Hardware Developer alex@spotlab.org

Sandra Cabria Fuente

Technology innovation for education

María Jesús Ledesma Carbayo

Biomedical Images Researcher

Quique Bassat

Malaria Medical Researcher

María Linares

Malaria Specialist Researcher

Alejandra Ortiz

Biomedical Specialist

Former Members and Collaborators

Sara Gil Casanova

Álvaro Martínez

Jerónimo Pérez Regidor

Pablo Concepción

Francisco Díaz

Camila Renè Maggi

José María Nuñez

Marta García Rivas

Daniel García Cafferata

Collaborator Entities