Matibabu, smartphone-based system which uses special kind of light and sensor (no need of a blood test), is all that is required to diagnose malaria.
The hardware does not require any pricking of the body and consists of red LED and a light sensor. Users insert a finger into the device, the system scans the finger and the results can be viewed on a smartphone.
It’s instant, convenient and efficient in countries where malaria affects large portions of the population and diagnosis takes time and tedious process. The traumatising process of needle pricks has been discarded and diagnoses have been made less time intensive through the system.
The red light-using LEDs are triggered into the skin and made to reach the red blood cells, where they determine the red blood cell count. After this, the App analyses the results.
The system has been developed by Brian Gitta, Josiah Kavuma, Simon Lubambo and Joshua Businge from Code8 in Uganda who won the Microsoft Imagine Cup for their idea. The device can help detect malaria in the early stages of the disease and thus can help save lives in Sub-Saharan Africa. For now software from Microsoft’s DreamSpark Program and support from The School of Public Health, Makerere University have helped Matibabu develop. The team still requires greater support in order to deepen their R&D and make the device more practical. For more information about the system, check out Matibabu’s blog and facebook page.