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Pieter van Rooyen: "Diagnostics for the developing world: Where high‐tech meets the Bush"

Wann 04.07.2011
von 10:15 bis 11:00
Wo Seminar Room 3rd floor, Building 103, IMTEK, Georges-Köhler-Allee 103, Freiburg
Kontakttelefon +49 761 203 97418
Teilnehmer Open to University employees
Termin übernehmen vCal

Pieter van Rooyen
Mhealth Inc, South Africa


Diagnostics for the developing world: Where high‐tech meets the Bush

As the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close, leaders in many developing countries can point with pride to tremendous strides in their efforts to improve the lives of their citizens. In many parts of the world, citizens in emerging economies have begun to taste the fruits of higher incomes and greater access to tools that promise to increase their quality of life and that of their children. Yet formidable obstacles remain. Health challenges present arguably the most significant barrier to sustainable global development. Disease and the lack of adequate preventative care take a significant toll on both developing populations, measurable in disability‐adjusted life years (DALYs), and economies. The ability of developing countries to overcome these serious health challenges is hindered by several core obstacles, among them a global shortage of healthcare workers.

The implication of this is that the traditional medical practice model needs to be revised.

In this talk I will consider some of the requirements to address these problem and propose a new high‐tech, yet cheap and affordable solution, to the problems facing health care in the developing world. In particular, the technology under discussion will enable access to one of the most basic yet powerful tools in all of medicine, the microscope, to millions of people that do not have access to basic health care services. The microscope is the first tool used in the evaluation of skin diseases, ear aches and sore throats, and is central to the diagnosis of blood diseases. In particular the technology is centered around a digital holographic microscope platform (DHMP) that can be deployed as a point‐of‐care (POC) unit. This compact and light‐weight holographic microscope does not utilise any lenses, lasers or other bulky optical components and will offer a cost‐effective tool for mHealth applications to address various global health challenges. Weighing ~38 grams, this lensfree imaging platform allows for biological samples to be loaded via a microfluidics chip and illuminated by a simple light‐emitting diode (LED).