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The Story behind 'Akpan's Digiscope'

It all started when Akpan Friday, a microbiology student from Nigeria who told us his dream to have a microscope. It's unbelievable that while in the UK it's common we study microbiology under the real microscopes, most pupils in Africa never ever get to see the real thing.


Early this year we attempted to solve this problem by sharing digitally scanned microbiology sample, so that people can look at digital whole slides on their computers. However, the technology require very powerful computer hardware, which is not available at Akpan's university, unfortunately Akpan couldn't get it to work despite he tried really really hard. It's a shame that people need whole slide imaging the most couldn't see its magic.


However, the story did stop here, since then Akpan has been trying his best to assist us, finding solutions to help improving the quality of education in Africa. He explained to us the current situation in Africa, and he even visited two primary schools to discuss with the teachers, and he has been writing to Local Education Authority.


We were impressed with his passion how he is willing to help to make a difference, what’s even more impressive, is when we decided to offer financial support for his travel, he kindly refused it.


Time flies, 5 months later, we discovered a browser-based whole slide image viewer. The technology allows us to upload the entire collection of digital slides to the cloud, most importantly, it allows everyone from anywhere, on any device, to see the magic in microbiology, without a microscope.


We are very grateful for all the help Akpan has provided, without him, none of these would happens. Therefore, as a return, we named this collection as 'Akpan's Digitscope', to encourage him pursuing his dream to become a microbiologist, and to help him inspire the next generation African scientists. 


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