Development of mobile phone based telemedicine system with interfaced diagnostic equipment for essential healthcare in rural areas of Low Resource Countries
University of Dhaka. Department of Biomedical Physics and Technology
In low-resource countries, qualified doctors who can provide quality medical care are not available to the majority of the people who live in rural areas. Telemedicine offers an acceptable solution to this problem. Prior to the ISIF Asia grant, our organization developed and tested in the field a PC-based telemedicine system with several diagnostic devices like a Stethoscope, ECG machine, spirometer, and other elements, all integrated together, offering affordability and sustained use - ensuring the ability to conduct maintenance and repair locally.
This project aimed at converting that whole system into a mobile phone based platform so that the service can be taken into people's homes via rural health workers equipped with essential diagnostic devices connected to the Internet through smartphones. The following devices were targeted for development: Stethoscope, ECG, Respiration monitor, Thermometer, Blood SpO2, Tele Palpation and Remote Blood Pressure monitoring.
The basic technology for the main platform, software for the user interface (both health operator and doctor) and three devices – stethoscope, ECG and lungs/respiration monitor have been developed. This will form the basis on which a commercial prototype may be designed if the needed financial support is available. The project has also given us some lessons in terms of teamwork which will be useful in future.