Malaria affects 228 million people worldwide each year, causing severe disease and worsening the conditions of already vulnerable populations. In this review, we explore how malaria has been detected in the past and how it can be detected in the future. Our primary focus is on finding new directions for low-cost diagnostic methods that unspecialized personnel can apply in situ. Through this review, we show that microfluidic devices can help pre-concentrate samples of blood infected with malaria to facilitate the diagnosis. Importantly, these devices can be made cheaply and be readily deployed in remote locations.