are 600,000 new malaria cases daily worldwide. The gold standard for
estimating the parasite burden and the corresponding severity of the
disease consists in manually counting the number of parasites in blood
smears through a microscope, a process that can take more than 20
minutes of an expert microscopist’s time.
Objective: This research tests the feasibility of a crowdsourced approach to malaria image analysis. In particular, we investigated whether anonymous volunteers with no prior experience would be able to count malaria parasites in digitized images of thick blood smears by playing a Web-based game...
Results: Over 1 month, anonymous players
from 95 countries played more than 12,000 games and generated a database
of more than 270,000 clicks on the test images. Results revealed that
combining 22 games from nonexpert players achieved a parasite counting
accuracy higher than 99%. This performance could be obtained also by
combining 13 games from players trained for 1 minute. Exhaustive
computations measured the parasite counting accuracy for all players as a
function of the number of games considered and the experience of the
players. In addition, we propose a mathematical equation that accurately
models the collective parasite counting performance.
Conclusions: This research validates the online gaming approach for crowdsourced counting of malaria parasites in images of thick blood films.
Crowdsourcing Malaria Parasite Quantification:, An Online Game for Analyzing Images of Infected Thick Blood Smears, Luengo-Oroz MA, Arranz A, Frean J, J Med Internet Res 2012;14(6):e167, URL: http://www.jmir.org/2012/6/e167/
Miguel Angel Luengo-Oroz, PhD, Biomedical Image Technologies group
DIE, ETSI Telecomunicación, Univ Politécnica de Madrid, CEI Moncloa UPM-UCM
The entrepreneur Asier Arranz is chief developer.
The multidisciplinary team is supported by Jacobo Gómez (design), Enrique Mendoza (web and database), Anoush Tatevossian & Natalia Rodriguez & Maria Fernandez (communications) and a fantastic team of advisors and supporters around the globe (Maria Luengo, Antonio Blanco, Javier Cepa, Jose Luis Rubio, Nati Luengo and Cesar Martin). Game soundtrack by Simón Garcia "A Night in Compostela (Para 6 contrabajos)", album Intersecciones (Escuela de Musica Creativa).