Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed an iPhone accessory that turns it into a mobile biosensor - or what's better known to sci-fi geeks and Star Trek fans as a medical tricorder.
The researchers say their powerful biosensor is useful for toxins and pathogen testing as well as diagnosing other medical issues. The device consists of a cradle that contains an assortment of lenses and filters that line up with the camera.
Although the cradle only costs $200 (about £130), the researchers say the device will come equipped with a photonic crystal slide that's as accurate as $50,000 laboratory spectrometers used to decipher the molecules in a given sample.
Ultimately, the research team hopes that a device like this will allow doctors to take medical testing outside of the lab and bring it to an inexpensive but accurate handheld device.