The Journal of mHealth Vol 2 Issue 4 (August) - Page 13

Industry News App Design Could Save Lives with Early Pneumonia Detection A team from Uganda’s Makerere University is the only African winner in the 2014-2015 Big Ideas Contest for its app that could aid in early detection of pneumonia. The app, which won Makerere a tie for second place in the global health category of the contest, combines a cell phone prototype with specially developed cell phone applications. This enables it to make a detailed analysis and preliminary diagnosis of “lung crackles” through digitised audio recordings from a patient’s chest. The team intends to have a connection to a modified stethoscope for better readings of lung sounds and the device will be able to store and send chest recordings as digital files so that they can be expertly analysed at a later point if necessary. In addition, the stethoscope would be embedded in a vest to ensure continuous monitoring. Since the recorded sound can be stored on the cell phone as a digital file, it can be sent later on for expert analysis through the cloud. The Big Ideas judges were particularly impressed by the proposal due to the danger pneumonia presents to patients – particularly in the developing world – and due to a high success rate in treatment if detected early. “The affordability and wide availability of cell phones make them an innovative platform for the development of simple medical diagnosis capabilities for use in the field,” the judges said. “This is especially true in under-developed countries where skilled medical practitioners and their most sophisticated devices are often thin on the ground.” The team was one of only two international universities to win an award in the completion, which was organised by the University of California (UC) Berkeley. The other international winner was a team from Australia’s Monash University that developed an advanced reading tablet for young children. The contest aims to encourage students to use skills gained at university outside their courses on passion projects that could better the world. Teams put together initial proposals and Big Ideas helps them turn these into action throughout the course of a year by providing funding, support and encouragement. All of the projects are at very early stages and will need significant development before working applications are available. Other teams that won awards in the same global health category as Makerere included a UC Davis team that designed a sand-and-plant system for treating wastewater on a large scale (tied first place); a UC Berkeley team that designed a programme to increase training in cervical cancer screening methods (tied first place); and a UC Berkeley team that developed a method for removing fluoride from water that is appropriate to the culture, environment and technology of rural India (tied second place). n PCHA, HIMSS and Games for Health Announce Strategic Partnership Games for Health annual conference integrated in the 2015 mHealth Summit, November 8-11 in Washington, DC The Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA) at HIMSS and the Games for Health Project have announced a strategic partnership to deliver comprehensive resources and business development opportunities to the gaming community. HIMSS and PCHA are focusing on advancing personal health technologies in care delivery, including mobile and connected health, that empower and engage providers, patients and consumers in health and wellness. Games for Health is the leading voice and professional community in the field of health games, representing the full spectrum of health technologies. Together with PCHA and HIMSS, this partnership will bring greater focus to cutting-edge games and gaming technologies covering the spectrum from wellness to disease management. “Gaming technology is playing an increasing role in care delivery and the management of health and wellness,” said Richard Scarfo, Vice President, Personal Connected Health Alliance at HIMSS, and Director of the mHealth Summit. “Our strategic partnership with Games for Health compliments PCHA’s support of the full continuum of technology-driven health and wellness. Gaming technology is becoming an important addition to social media, wearables and mobile health, as well as an adjunct to clinical care management.” As part of this collaboration, Games for Health will host a portfolio of activities at both this year’s mHealth Summit and the HIMSS16 Annual Conference. The Games for Health University will once again return to the 2015 mHealth Summit on November 8, featuring a full-day tutorial focused on how and when games should be used in the health and healthcare secContinued on page 12 The Journal of mHealth 11