HERE'S AN EXAMPLE OF AFRICAN INNOVATION AT IT'S FINEST.
Arthur Zang, a 24 year-old Cameroonian engineer, has invented the Cardiopad, a touch screen medical tablet that enables heart examinations such as the electrocardiogram (ECG) to be performed at remote, rural locations while the results of the test are transferred wirelessly to specialists who can interpret them. The device spares African patients living in remote areas the trouble of having to travel to urban centers to seek medical examinations.
According to Zang, “software built into the device allows the doctor to give computer assisted diagnosis.”“the tablet is used as a classical electrocardiograph device: electrodes are placed on the patient and connected to a module that, in turn, connects to the tablet. When a medical examination is performed on a patient in a remote village, for example, the results are transmitted from the nurse’s tablet to that of the doctor who then interprets them.”
Cameroon, a Central African country with a population of some 20 million people, lays claim to only 30 heart surgeons. To make matters worse, these heart surgeons are mainly concentrated in Douala or Yaoundé, the country’s two most important economic hubs. This severe deficit of medical personnel means that patients with heart ailments usually have to travel long distances to undergo heart examinations and consult with doctors. Even at that, it is still not easy. On some occasions, patients must make appointments months in advance, and some even die in the process of waiting for their appointment.
Zang believes his invention will cut down the cost of heart examinations. The Cardiopad is already generating a lot of interest in African tech and medical circles. The inventor is currently looking for venture capital to commercially produce the device.
Read the detailed report about the Cardiopad here.
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