Cell phones used as medical instruments in Africa, Asia; US may change regulatory policy

Cell phones are being used as medical instruments in underdeveloped nations, extending highly cost-effective health care to underserved villages and rural areas. A team led by Daniel Fletcher, a Bioengineering Professor at the University of California at Berkeley has developed inexpensive conversions of cell phones into medical instruments, using clip-on lenses that cost one dollar or less. Fletcher's team has on-the-ground tests in Cameroon screening for parasitic worm infections and in Thailand screening for retinal diseases. "By attaching a simple set of lenses to a Nokia phone borrowed from my sister," wrote Fletcher, "we were able to image blood cells,…

Westphal – SacBee "Boomers and Medicare"

Senior Fellow David Westphal currently heads the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting, and recently released a report on the rising demands of healthcare professionals and medicare payouts as the first generation of "baby boomers" turns 65 years old this year. Westphal told the Sacramento Bee that "[a]s citizens we all have work to do in deciding what government can afford to do – and not do – in subsidizing seniors' health care." [additional article can be found at SecondAct]…

Westphal in LA Observed

Senior Fellow David Westphal and the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting at USC Annenberg was profiled on the LA Observed blog. Westphal said that the project has "demonstrated one point clearly: that a news organization supported by a foundation (the California HealthCare Foundation) and affiliated with a university journalism school (USC Annenberg) can partner with local news organizations to produce difference-making journalism."…