One in ten people in the world do not have access to clean water
Globally, water-born bacterial infections lead over 500,000 diarrhoeal related deaths each year, which is over 2000 deaths every day (more than malaria and HIV combined). Current water testing equipment is bulky, expensive and takes at least a day to give results.
We are developing inexpensive, rapid water testing microscopes capable of identifying bacterial presence in less than six hours – four times faster than current tests available. The technology is easy to use away from laboratories and does not require the end user to be highly trained.
In collaboration with Oxfam, we work in remote, low-resource areas in Tanzania and Bangladesh to educate and empower communities to measure the quality of the water they are drinking. By creating faster, simpler testing systems, operated by local people at the source of the problem, we believe we can contribute to reducing the spread of infection.
At a glance we have two microscopes; the Openflexure Microscope and the WaterScope. The Openflexure microscope is a low cost, open source, 3D-printed microscope. We use it as a tool to educate communities in recognising contaminants in water.
The WaterScope is a microscope that uses optics to identify early stage bacterial contamination and our novel cartridge makes testing extremely simple, not dependent on user skillset or resource availability. Our automatic data collection software allows for an almost real-time mapping of water sources around the globe.