An Affordable and Robust Diagnostic Platform for Neonates and Young Children in Low-Resource Settings

Organization: 
Save the Children Federation Inc.
Organization Location: 
Westport, Connecticut, USA

The evolving WHO guidelines for case management of pneumonia and serious bacterial infections in neonates, infants, and children under 5 years old 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 under diagnosing and over prescribing antibiotics. Overlapping disease symptoms make it difficult for health workers to confidently triage an infant or child. The market available tools are either costly, need to be bought in isolation, and need heavy maintenance and parts replenishment.  Save the Children proposes an affordable and exclusive point-of-care diagnostic device for accurate measurement and interpretation of key vital signs (oxygen saturation, respiratory rate and temperature) among young infants (0-59 days) and children (2-59 months). It is equipped with a unique universal pulse oximeter sensor. The device will improve the quality of pneumonia case management and possible serious bacterial infections at community and health facility levels in low-resource settings. The device easily and immediately diagnoses a sick infant in community and outpatient settings, reducing unnecessary referrals, increasing health worker confidence, and providing a more accurate diagnosis, thus rationing limited antibiotics. After the grant period, a proposal to scale-up will be made and brought to the market via Philips’ venture on medical devices for low-resource settings.

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