Mobile Stethoscope Diagnostics project looks to aid health workers in accurately diagnosing lung sounds
On June 10th-11th in Washington, D.C. the Vodafone Americas Foundation announced the winners of its 7th-annual Wireless Innovation Project, which supports “a spectrum of high potential mobile and wireless technology solutions.”
Taking home a $100,000 grant were Research Scientist Rich Fletcher and graduate student Daniel Chamberlain, of the MIT Tata Center and D-Lab, for their promising work in developing “a mobile stethoscope and decision-support mobile application to provide critical diagnostic assistance to untrained health workers in developing countries.”
Chuck Pol, president of Vodafone Americas, said: “The 2015 winners represent the brightest of a new generation of problem solvers for critical global community needs, and we’re proud to recognize their cutting-edge visions.”
Fletcher and Chamberlain’s smartphone software listens to a patient’s lung sounds, such as wheezing, crackling, and air flow, and helps make a diagnosis. While a simple stethoscope is used by doctors around the world for this purpose, the mobile technology component can help health workers without formal training, who are often the only medical resource available to rural and low-income residents of developing countries.
Chamberlain says they plan to use the grant to “pull it all together” and create a robust diagnostic tool that can make an impact in rural and under-served areas in the developing world. The team is collaborating with the Chest Research Foundation in Pune, India, and they will spend much of the summer there testing and receiving feedback on their prototype.
Photos courtesy of Vodafone Americas Foundation