The Story Behind 2017 invention, Mother’s Hope
Every year in Uganda, around 27,000 children die of pneumonia because many of these cases are misdiagnosed and mistreated as cases of malaria. These numbers transfer worldwide, with 500,000 children below five dying yearly according to the World Health Organization (WHO. However, local Ugandan entrepreneurs by the names of Brian Turyabagye and Olivia Koburongo, have designed a device that could ultimately solve this problem and save thousands of lives. The invention is a biomedical “smart jacket” that can detect the existence of pneumonia in a patient’s body three times faster than traditional medical tests. Mama-Ope or “Mother’s Hope” in the English translation the jacket’s nickname, could be a breakthrough, not only in Uganda, but worldwide, especially in emerging economies.
How does the jacket work? It’s pretty easy to use. Patients put on the jacket and then the jacket does all the work. By monitoring a patient’s lung sound patterns, breathing rate and bodily temperature, it can identify a patient who has pneumonia. This gathered information is then sent to an app on a mobile phone via Bluetooth. The mobile app then proceeds to compare the collected data with known data to get an idea of the strength of the disease.
Though the main aim of the “smart jacket” is to pick up on characteristics attributed to pneumonia specifically, it’s measurement of breathing patterns may also be useful in diagnosing other diseases like tuberculosis. Koburongo was inspired with this idea after experiencing the strain that accompanied her grandmother being transferred to different hospitals a few times before being properly diagnosed with pneumonia.
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