We’ve read about CT scan, Cardiopad, Mubser and Lions Light which are all made by Africans and benefit mostly Africans. Technological savvy Africans in the past and present have brought us lots of innovative solutions to solve the pressing issues in the continent. Example of such an innovative solution is MamaOpe, a Medical smart jacket that tackles misdiagnosis of pneumonia. This smart Jacket can detect pneumonia up to four times faster than a doctor.
In the battle against the illness that kills half a million children under five in sub-Saharan Africa every year, Brian Turyabaye invented Smart Jacket that detects pneumonia with high accuracy. It analyses the chest and then the information is gathered via Bluetooth to a smartphone app.
Why Medical Smart Jacket
Thousands of cases of child deaths caused by pneumonia are reported every year in Africa. Many of those deaths caused by misdiagnosis or late diagnosis, especially in the villages and remote areas, children get sick – and the first reaction is to treat them for malaria. Most people are aware of malaria, and the signs of malaria and pneumonia are very similar, so it is difficult for health professionals to differentiate.
This as a result, Ugandan born Brian Turyabagye who co-founded MamaOpe medicals designed a biomedical smart jacket in 2016 that would differentiate pneumonia’s symptoms – temperature, breathing rate and sound of the lungs – and eliminate most human error, diagnosing pneumonia in children aged under 5 years at a rate three to four times faster than a doctor. He named it “Mamaope”, or “mother’s hope” – a reference to the 27,000 children who die of pneumonia in Uganda every year.
Asides from the rising death of under-five children in Africa, the death of Turyabagye’s partner grandmother, Olivia Kuburongo due to misdiagnosis spurred the duo to invent medical smart jacket.
How Does It Work?
It works in a simple way. Once a patient puts it on, a health worker activates a controller unit. After the start button is clicked, the jacket tracks the vital signs of Pneumonia and displays the results after 3 minutes. This low-cost solution it makes the process of diagnosis way faster than the conventional ways currently in use, such as that require a stethoscope may require five or more minutes. It stretches across the chest and side of a patient body. It surveys specific points on the lungs for symptoms of pneumonia.
Major Achievements of MamaOpe
This medical smart jacket is used to prevent recurring cases of pneumonia misdiagnosis. Since 2017, the jacket has been tested in Uganda and it has been the rollout to some of the major hospitals in Uganda and it’s expected to benefit over 50,000 citizens annually who have been victims of Pneumonia.
Mamaope Medicals also intends to develop the solution further in order to make possible a long distance monitoring of patients by their doctors.
The jacket was voted the winner for Pitch@Palace Africa 2017 and ranked by CNN among the 12 African innovations that will change the world. It has also gained several other recognition for African innovation.
Although, the biomedical jacket is still in its prototype phase, but will be beneficial to the entire world once is finally out to the public. This invention will save many lives and will bring hope to communities in need. The jacket could be a major boon to diagnosing, treating and preventing pneumonia in sub-Saharan Africa.
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