A Tablet to Diagnose Heart Disease

Problem

Cardiovascular diseases (CV) are most often called the silent killer. 20 million people in the African subcontinent are estimated to have been impacted by this disease. Those at risk have to spend huge amounts of money and travel hundred of miles to be treated as heart specialist given they are located in urban areas.  The Cameroon Heart Foundation found fewer than 40 heart specialists are available to serve nation’s growing CV patients (WHO, n.d).

Technology: Health

24 year old engineer, Arthur Zang, of Cameroon designed Cardiopad, a program aimed at diagnosing cardiovascular disease among the poor. The Cardiopad collects signals  generated from the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the heart via electrodes fixed near the heart. The tablet produces a moving graphical depiction of the cardiac cycle. This is then transmitted over GSM networks to a cardiologist for interpretation and diagnosis (Holland et al, 2012),

Zang designed Africa’s first fully touch-screen medical tablet given people living in the interiors of Cameroon have to travel a distance of over 900KM to see a heart specialist. Cardiopad enables health workers to give a heart examination and send results to heart specialists regardless of their location. The results are sent via a mobile network that can be interpreted within 20 minutes (BBC, 2016).

Zang has already distributed these free of charge cardiopads to hospitals across Cameroon. Patients only have to pay an annual subscription of $29. This technology is also sold to clinics in India, Nepal and Gabon. Last year, that is in 2016, the engineer won the African Engineering Award of $37,000 towards accelerating his venture.

Stakeholders

  • Government Officials
  • Hospitals & Clinics
  • Less privileged communities
  • Community health-workers
  • NGO’s working in less privileged communities
  •  Pharmaceutical companies
  • Venture capitalists (VC)
  • Medical colleges

Implementation

  1. Seek government partnership to expand and scale the product across different communities
  2. Partner with hospitals and clinics to sell the product
  3. Partner with NGO’s working in less privileged communities to mobilize community health workers, arrange health camps and support with monitoring impact
  4. Train health workers in operating the Cardiopad
  5. Raise CSR funds through Pharma companies
  6. Find  VC’s to invest and scale venture
  7. Partner with medical colleges to recruit interns and employees for organization

References

World Health Organization, Cardiovascular Diseases, who.org, sourced on November 5, 2017 from http://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases

BBC.Com (2016), ‘Cameroon’s Cardiopad Inventor Wins African Engineering Award’, BBC, sourced on November 5, 2017 from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36397164

Holland, Mina et all (2015), ‘Africa Innovations: 15 Ideas Helping To Transform A Continent’, sourced on November 5th, 2017 from  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/aug/26/africa-innovations-transform-continentx

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