ioLight is a UK startup based in Southampton. We have been selling portable microscopes to environmental scientists since 2016. Our microscopes have been to The Arctic, Antarctica, The Amazon and Mount Everest.
Microscopy is the fundamental tool for biology, veterinary science, climate change and many other disciplines. In the past, researchers have had to take samples back to their labs for observation. This is a slow process, and you can't review your sampling strategy. It is difficult to get good images of fresh samples before they deteriorate in transit, and impossible to return samples to where they belong.
Our fastest-growing application is the identification of Harmful Algal Blooms ( HABs). These potentially toxic blooms look very similar to beneficial algae. Only a microscope will tell the difference, but it usually takes five days or more to get a lab result. ioLight microscopes use AI image recognition to identify dangerous cyanobacteria on the beach in a couple of minutes. This protects public health and the businesses that rely on safe water. ioLight microscopes are so simple that diagnosis can be made by citizen scientists with just 30 minutes of training, delivering 94% accuracy.
You can learn more about our work at iolight.co.uk or contact me through WildHub.