Project Lead(s): Xingxing Xing
Globally, there were 284,000 maternal deaths in 2012, with 99% of these occurring in developing countries.
A total of 44% of Filipino mothers give birth without access to a doctor, as the existing healthcare infrastructure provides minimal medical service.
The project aimed to develop a low-cost and portable ultrasound prototype, to provide obstetrical care in low-resource settings.
The prototype included basic ultrasound imaging hardware and access to remote diagnostic functionality through the telecommunication network.
The platform consisted of low-cost, commercially available ultrasound modules with proprietary controller and software, which could be developed into an affordable commercial ultrasound imaging system in the future.
The team also developed a mobile application prototype that interfaces with the ultrasound hardware to display and transmit/receive remote data. The ultrasound device communicates with the mobile app through a standard USB cable, which minimizes additional hardware requirements.
An easy-to-use user interface was developed, to aid operation by midwives and facilitate efficient consultation with distant experts.
Cloud server software was developed, to support management of test data and to allow medical experts from anywhere in the world to participate in the screening and diagnostic process using the acquired ultrasound data.
The team developed an ultrasound imaging platform, but the device has limitations, as it currently only supports an ultrasound transducer array of 32 elements, which is inadequate for practical imaging purposes.
Due to the limited technical performance of the imaging device, it has yet to be deployed for clinical trials.
Further development of the hardware is necessary to support a higher number of transducer arrays, to produce higher-resolution images for clinical screening purposes.
Once this development is complete, the team intends to apply for Transition to Scale (TTS) funding.