Project HOPE, an international health education and humanitarian organization, has been awarded a seed grant from Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development to test and develop a device that improves the identification of sick neonates by accurately measuring an infant’s respiratory rate and temperature and indicating whether they are abnormal.
Project HOPE was one of 26 Round 4 seed grant awardees out of a selection of 52 finalists, from NGOs, academia and the private sector announced at the Saving Lives at Birth conference in Washington D.C. on August 1.
HOPE’s Inspire device is a simple, sustainable technology that helps community health workers quickly and accurately record vital signs, including respiration rates, temperature, heart rate and activity and position of the infant automatically. The device then indicates any abnormality, allowing health workers to treat or refer the infants to higher levels of medical care quickly. This will increase dramatically the number of sick infants identified and hopefully get more of them the treatment they need. Current methods rely on health workers counting respirations or pulse rates using a watch or timer and high error rates have been documented.
“We are honored to receive this prestigious grant and believe Inspire is a much-needed device for community health workers who are linked to the health care system in developing countries. These health workers typically conduct home visits to screen or refer neonates with danger signs, and frequently infants who are severely ill and needing rapid attention, are missed or do not receive treatment. This device will also work on older children, so the potential for reducing deaths from a variety of causes, but especially pneumonia, is huge. Millions of children can be helped by the use of this device,” said Judith Moore, Senior Director of Women’s and Children’s Health at Project HOPE.
“With further testing and development in consultation with health workers in the field, Inspire has the potential to prevent documented errors that occur using the current methods of counting, improve supervision, as the device can send the data wirelessly to a supervisor’s phone or computer, and increase the data we have available, thus improving programming and treatment planning,” said Ms. Moore.
Project HOPE developed the device with Virginia-based technology company Guardit. Inspire can wirelessly transmit data to a cell phone or computer, supporting improved data collection and supervision of field workers in remote locations.
The Saving Lives at Birth contest drew 600 entries this year and HOPE was a finalist in Round 3 last year. The Saving Lives at Birth partnership, launched in 2011, includes the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), and the U.K’s Department for International Development (DFID).
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries. Visit our website projecthope.org and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg
Geraldine Carroll Tel. 540.257.3746 firstname.lastname@example.org
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