The Solution

What if a lab-quality analysis with high-level spectroscopy could be done in a matter of seconds, with a handheld device? That would mean no clever tricks to fool the test because spectroscopy looks at the quantum level of a sample (they actually count photons of light! How it works). The problem of course is that spectroscopy is painfully expensive. A bench top instrument can cost upwards of $200,000USD! Plus, they are big, bulky, and require an expert scientist to use them. But, what if software could be written by those same experts to automate the process? And, what if the instrument could be a “smart” instrument, and learn? This is what we have done.

We made software that could automate the use of a spectroscopic instrument. We then made software that could be used with any instrument to make it “smart” and analyze on its own, enabling less expensive hardware. We then made our own prototype instrument and 3D-printed the case. Now we want to make a portable and robust handheld version that can be used in the field, by anyone who can press a button. Then, take the devices to Africa and train doctors, pharmacists, medical distributers and authorities to use them. They will be ready to analyze an unlimited number of pills, that way only the real medicine will make it to the people who need it, and we can change this horrendous cycle of counterfeit medicine.

We need your help to make this idea a reality. How to Help