Project Lead(s): Walter Karlen
Undiagnosed and untreated pneumonia claims the lives of more than 1,000,000 children under the age of five annually, almost all in low-resource countries. Many of these deaths could be avoided with timely diagnosis and treatment, which emphasizes that new methods to assess patients are needed.
The University of British Columbia research seeks to deploy affordable, diagnostic, mobile applications to reduce mortality rates. Point-of-care sensing is combined with mobile phones to leverage the inherent benefits of mobile devices: availability, computation, display and sensors.
A prototype pulse oximeter device has been developed. This prototype communicates with a mobile software that integrates decision rules for pneumonia diagnosis, treatment checklists and basic case management functions.
The usability and ethical impact on community health workers was evaluated in South African townships. Acceptance was high and no significant usability issue was identified.
Technical developments, user evaluations and conference publications have been disseminated through numerous journals, such as IEE Explore and PLOS One in January 2014 and June 2014 . The developed software has been made available to the public through an open-source licence.