An Integrated Diagnostic Device for Neonates and Young Children in Low-Resource Settings

Save the Children Federation, Inc.
Organization Location: 
Washington, DC

Evolving case management of pneumonia and serious bacterial infections the WHO guidelines for neonates, infants and children require community and facility health workers to measure and assess various vital signs for which they have limited tools and often rely on subjective measures leading to underdiagnosing and overprescribing antibiotics. Also overlapping disease symptoms make it difficult for health workers to confidently triage infants or children. Additionally, available tools are either costly, need to be bought in isolation and require heavy maintenance and parts replenishment. We propose a low cost, easy-to-use, integrated diagnostic device that supports community and facility level health workers to accurately measure and interpret key vital signs-oxygen saturation, respiratory and pulse rates, and temperature in infants (0-59 days) and children (2-59 mo.), to support better pneumonia and serious bacterial infections case management. SC and Philips are uniquely positioned to create a working prototype of the integrated diagnostic device and iteratively evaluated in Malawi. The device easily and immediately diagnoses a sick infant at community and outpatient settings, reducing unnecessary referrals, increasing confidence in health workers’ diagnosis, and providing a more accurate diagnosis, thus rationing limited antibiotics. At grant's end, a scale-up proposal will be made and brought to market via Philips’ venture on medical devices for low-resource settings.

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