Many maternal and newborn deaths in developing countries could be prevented through better monitoring of blood pressure, hemoglobin and blood sugar levels of pregnant women.
Researchers will design a low-cost, non-invasive wristband for mothers-to-be with built in sensors that can measure and transfer these readings to healthcare providers along with the mother's GPS location.
The sensors will collect information via copper wire and Bluetooth. The data will be processed in a central core, which will process and encrypt the vital sign information, tag the patient's location, and periodically transfer the information to health providers.
"The solution not only addresses a huge gap in maternal and child health, it allows the health system to direct resources to high-risk pregnancies and addressing emergency cases, thus reducing mortality," says Pakistan-based lead researcher Shariq Khoja.
To eliminate persistent pocket areas of Kenya where children are not vaccinated or undervaccinated, researchers will create a barcoded vaccination card redeemable for farm seeds and fertilizer.
Updated each time a child gets a vaccine, the card is taken to one of about 20,000 local agro-vet outlets, where the barcode is scanned using an app on a camera-equipped smartphone. The farmer would then redeem an "agri-credit" for essential farm inputs.
Lead researcher Benson Wamalwa of the University of Nairobi says the program "would powerfully incentivize parents to seek and adhere to their children's immunization schedule even when hard pressed financially to reach a distant vaccination centre.
The idea is a practical solution that would significantly boost small farm productivity and incomes for poor household while safeg
|Contact: Terry Collins
Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health