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Medical Technology: Africa’s Number One Child Killer Pneumonia Diagnosed Through Smart Jacket

Update Date: Jan 24, 2017 09:59 AM EST

In the latest in medical technology, a team from Uganda has invented a smart jacket that is able to diagnose if an individual has pneumonia. Inspired by the death of her grandmother, Olivia Kuborongo, developed the smart jacket to stop Africa's number one child killer.

The smart jacket developed by a team from Uganda is called the Mama Ope, which is a biomedical kit that can diagnose if an individual has pneumonia or not. The kit consists of a jacket and a mobile phone app.

The smart jacket is embedded with a passive stethoscope that records the crackles in the lung, temperature and breathing rate. The device also ensures the continuous monitoring of the patient wearing the jacket.

The recorded audio is then transmitted via Bluetooth to the mobile phone. Using the app installed on the phone, the audio file is analyzed and compared to known data regarding pneumonia to determine the strength of the illness of the patient. Once data is transmitted to a cloud storage, other medical professionals, no matter how far, can get access to the data and help in confirming or determining the diagnosis.

The Mama Ope kit boasts to diagnose pneumonia three times faster than doctors and reduces the misdiagnosis of the illness on patients. Furthermore, Mama Ope is especially helpful in areas too remote or too understaff to have proper medical services.

Although the Mama Ope is still in its prototype stage, it has already been shortlisted in the 2017 Royal Academy of Engineering Africa prize. The team behind the Mama Ope kit has already started working on patenting the biomedical kit. They hope that after initial testing in the rural areas of Uganda, the Mama Ope will then be distributed to remote areas not just in Uganda but the rest of the African continent.

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