Testing and development of the INSPIRE device to improve the identification of sick neonates in developing countries.

Project HOPE
Organization Location: 
Millwood, VA, USA

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that when skilled health workers are not available, trained community health workers (CHW) who are linked to the health care system conduct home visits to screen/refer neonates with danger signs. Most of the signs that WHO recommends CHWs look for can be assessed by simple observation or by asking the mother. The exceptions are fast breathing, which requires counting and the use of a timer/watch, and a high/low temperature, which requires the use of a thermometer. These signs are essential for identification of pneumonia, ARI, dyspnea and possibly sepsis. The INSPIRE, a simple, sustainable technology, helps CHWs quickly and accurately identify rapid respirations (by automating counting) and abnormal temperatures in neonates and supports timely management and treatment. The methods currently used to monitor respiratory rate rely on an individual observing the infants chest movements and counting. Major errors in counting have been documented using this method. The INSPIRE accurately measures an infant’s respiratory rate automatically and indicates whether the rate recorded is abnormal. Well suited to remote and low-resource environments where CHWs often work, the INSPIRE is small, durable, operates using a hand-cranked battery, has no replaceable parts, is affordable and sustainable (5-10 year life span). It does not require the user to own/operate a cell phone and it can be operated by all health personnel regardless of skill level. It can wirelessly transmit data to a cell phone or computer, supporting improved data collection and supervision of field workers in remote locations.

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