Ugandans develop smart jacket to spot pneumonia

Mar 24, 2017, 7:54 AM EDT
(Source: RIBI Image Library/flickr)
(Source: RIBI Image Library/flickr)

A team of Ugandan engineers has developed a biomedical “smart jacket,” which can quickly and accurately diagnose pneumonia, a lung infection that claims thousands of lives, mainly kids, every year. The jacket, named “Mamaope” or “mother’s hope,” features a stethoscope that tracks the patient’s vitals, monitors breathing rate and temperature and channels the data to a connected smartphone app for quick and correct diagnosis of this fatal disease.

In sub-Saharan Africa where a high rate of misdiagnosis has been registered, the invention could be a godsend technology for saving lives, writes Face2Face Africa. Brian Turyabagye, the 24-year-old inventor, who conceived the idea of such a wearable, expects the jacket to be available in the market at around $150 once the certification process is complete in a few months.

Turyabagye plans to introduce the kit in Uganda’s referral hospitals and remote healthcare centers, which are overburdened due to severe manpower crunch, notes Medical Express. In the absence of proper infrastructure and laboratory testing, some 24,000 Ugandan children under the age of five per year lose their lives to pneumonia, according to the statistics by the U.N. children's agency U.N.I.C.E.F.