Trends in Africa Healthcare: Cardiopad
The solution to problems facing Africa healthcare is gradually coming form within. Entrepreneurs in Africa are taking steps forward in addressing some of the continent’s most pressing healthcare issues, which is lack technological infrastructure to administer effective care. A 24-year-old Cameroonian engineer: Arthur Zang, has developed a digital medical tablet, called Cardiopad, equipped with a touch screen that performs electrocardiogram (ECG) tests to determine the heart’s activity and diagnose ailments. (Photo: Solutions to prevent and cure malaria exist but are out of reach for much of the population in Africa.)
The Cardiopad complement the efforts of other African innovators who are keen in enhancing how healthcare is delivered. In addition, the World Health Organization reports that heart diseases in Africa are increasing. With a population of more than 20 million, Cameroon has fewer than 40 cardiologists in the country, making the portable invention all the more useful, says Mr. Zang. Most of the cardiologists are based in urban centres, making access difficult for patients in rural areas.
How it works
The Cardiopad eliminates the need to travel long distances to see a cardiologist, as the device can work without electricity. It uses a battery that can last for about seven hours, Mr. Zang explains, which is crucial, since most of rural Cameroon has no access to electricity.
Currently the Cardiopad sells for between $2,000 and $3,000, less than most conventional electrocardiograph machines. With a reliability rate of 97.5%, according to the inventor, it might just be a lifesaving device for heart patients in Cameroon.