Field testing for a robust system

April 2016

WaterScope was funded by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) to develop our first portable rapid-testing prototype. The project was a significant milestone in the development of the WaterScope system. The funding enabled us to take on one full time employee - Dr Alex Patto, CEO of WaterScope - and funded two field trials, one in India and one in Tanzania.

During the prototype development, we optimised our disposable cartridge which allows us to use our verified in-lab method out into the field. We also re-designed the prototype to make it more robust, so that it could withstand field conditions. We also incorporated an incubator into the microscope, making real-time imaging of bacteria possible. 

Initially our kit will test for E. coli specifically, but in November 2016 we were able to test for several pathogens including Listeria, Legionella and pathogenic E. coli 0157 in contaminated water sources. The system can also measure other factors such as pH, free chlorine, and turbidity.

In November 2016, we field tested the system in India in partnership with Oxfam. During field tests, we worked with several field workers to engage end-users for constant feedback and alteration of the system. In January 2017, we collaborated with Cambridge Development Initiative and co-conducted field tests in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.