An average of 750,000 cases of child deaths caused by pneumonia are reported every year in Africa. Many of those deaths caused by misdiagnosis, 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 for malaria and pneumonia are very similar, so it is difficult for health professionals to differentiate.
In 2016, Brian Turyabagye, a co-founder of Mamaope Medicals, designed a biomedical smart jacket that would distinguish 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.
The MamaOpe Jacket works in a simple way. Once a child 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.
The benefits of the medical smart jacket are to prevent recurring cases of pneumonia misdiagnosis. Since November 2017, the jacket has been tested in Uganda. So far, Mamaope is being rollout to some of the major hospitals in Uganda and it’s expected to benefit over 50,000 citizens annually who has been victims of Pneumonia.
The team built test jackets and these are currently being approved for market. Mamaope Medicals also intends to develop the solution further in order to make possible a long distance monitoring of patients by their doctors.
The solution was voted the winner for Pitch@Palace Africa 2017 and ranked by CNN among the 12 African innovations that will change the world.
Partners: The project has been single handedly funded by Resilient African Network(RAN) but any additional support from the well wiser for scale out would highly be appreciated.
Budget: USD 100,000 use for marketing and production.
Mr. Brian Turyabagye Co-Founder, Mamaope Medicals