In the throes of an epidemic like Covid-19, it is crucial to be able to identify suspected cases, and diagnose people who are in contact with individuals at risk. A lack of equipment invariably makes this difficult however, to say nothing of the challenge of overcoming fears of intrusive measures.
To contribute to the collective effort to fight against the new coronavirus, a Guinean entrepreneur came up with the idea of designing a tablet to identify symptoms associated with Covid-19.
The tablet is called Health Scan and can determine the patient’s body temperature, heart rate and level of oxygen in the blood using a thermal camera and several sensors. This information can be used to detect fever or check that the lungs are functioning properly, allowing a diagnosis to be made in mere minutes.
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Tracing and Tracking
“We can target the hottest part of the body and get a much more reliable temperature than from a Thermoflash forehead reading, as we saw in China during the first days of the epidemic”, says Mountaga Keita, CEO of Tulip Industries, on the RTG channel.
The designer of the tablet believes that it will help filter patients more effectively when they are admitted to hospital and identify those who require respiratory support. “Test kits are very scarce in Guinea. There are about 20,000 for a population of over 12 million inhabitants”, said Mountaga Keita on the Next Einstein Forum website in early April.
Designing a Potentially Life-Saving Device - in Record time
To launch this tool in record time – it was put on the market on 17 March – Tulip Industries adapted a tablet that was originally designed for the armed forces. It allows military doctors to carry out medical examinations in hard-to-reach areas.
“We redesigned this tablet quickly so it could be used to fight against Covid-19”, says Mountaga Keita. This device is also water-resistant and withstands falls from a height of up to 1.80 meters.
The Tulip Industries start-up had already gained attention in recent years by developing Octopus, an innovative telemedicine terminal, allowing health care professionals to diagnose and treat patients at a distance using telecommunications technologies, thereby reducing delays between diagnosis and a visit to the pharmacy.
The tablet project is not financially supported by AFD but provides a potential source of interest and inspiration for the development community.