BBC News, September 21, 2010

Phones come into their own in developing countries where there is a shortage of lab equipment, but an ever increasing number of mobile users and connections.

"People who make a dollar a day have a cellphone, which is just mind-blowing if you think about it," he said.

The UN estimates there are around 5 billion mobile subscriptions, with most growth in the developing world and particularly Africa.

But those same areas often have little access to healthcare and medical equipment.

The World Health Organisation recently held a meeting to discuss the problem and the "uneven and unfair distribution" of medical devices.

For Professor Raskar and others the solution in many cases is obvious: the mobile phone.

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