The digital in-line holographic configuration is motivated by the goal of developing a portable, cost effective sensor system for pre-screening patient blood samples. The theory of holography is explained from the foundational concepts in scalar diffraction theory all the way through to the implementation of reconstruction algorithms. Methods for the enhancement of holographic reconstructions are described. The algorithms that perform an automated count of the reconstructed objects are described and demonstrated. Simulated and experimental results are provided. Together, the lens-free holographic microscopy of micro-sized particles along with the application of image processing techniques for the automated detection and counting of objects of interest, provide a component towards realising a sensor system that can be used for pre-screening patient blood samples.