Development of Low-cost Remote Health Diagnostic/Monitoring Systems for Low-income countries

Project: Research

Project Details


This project will assess quantitavely the performance of MamaOpe-vest for penumonia diagnostic and
Wekebere-belt for fetal monitoring in a lab setting, and will provide advice for developing the technologies
used by the devices. Moreover, the project will undertake the feasibility study and initial development of a lowcost
ultrasound-system for health diagnostic and monitoring. This system is intendend for being coupled with
both MamaOpe and Wekebere devices for improving their diagnostic and monitoring capabilities and has to be
adequate, in terms of easy-of-use and affordability, to a low-resources setting.
Pneumonia kills nearly one million children under the age of five around the world (half of which in sub-
Saharan Africa - source UNICEF), causing more deaths than HIV/AIDS, diarrhea and malaria combined.
However, it is highly curable if early detected and if not misdiagnosed as malaria. MamaOpe-vest for
penumonia diagnostic features an array of microphones that detect the characteristic noise-signature of
pneumonia and alert the healthcare workers. However, the device shows limits due to the low signal-to-noise
ratio that affects accuracy, and its intrinsic inability of ‘seeing’ the lungs.
Similarly, stillbirths and early-neonatal-death is largely a low- and middle-income countries problem where
almost a million deaths occur yearly. Wekebere belt features a set of electromyography (EMG) and
electrocardiogram (ECG) electrodes that monitor the electrical activity of the muscles of the pregnant women
abdomen and promptly notify healthcare workers anomalies. However, limits of this device lie in the accuracy
of distinguishing between fetus and mother heartbeats and low signal-to noise ratio due to peripheral muscles


Project Funded by The Royal Academy of Engineering
Effective start/end date17/12/1816/12/19