Designed by an engineering student, this garment hopes to soon save millions of lives

Every year pneumonia kills half a million children under five in sub-Saharan Africa, making it the leading child killer. However, despite this widespread perilous reality, for every dollar spent on global health in 2011, only two cents went to pneumonia prevention, according to Unicef.

The leading cause of pneumonia-related deaths is misdiagnosis, as doctors usually mistake the symptoms for malaria. In efforts to solve this problem, 24-year-old Ugandan graduate engineering student Brian Turyabagye designed a biomedical smart jacket and an accompanying mobile application which can track body temperature, breathing rate and lung sound to detect early symptoms.

Mamaope or ‘mother’s hope’, as the project is called, can diagnose pneumonia three to four times faster than a doctor and eradicates most of the human error. Thanks to tapping into the wide availability of cell phones in the developing world, the project eliminates the need for other medical devices which are often unavailable on the ground.

The jacket is shortlisted for the £25,000 Africa Prize organized by the British Royal Academy of Engineering.

Mamaope

Every year pneumonia kills half a million children under five in sub-Saharan Africa, making it the leading child killer. However, despite this widespread perilous reality, for every dollar spent on global health in 2011, only two cents went to pneumonia prevention, according to Unicef.

The leading cause of pneumonia-related deaths is misdiagnosis, as doctors usually mistake the symptoms for malaria. In efforts to solve this problem, 24-year-old Ugandan graduate engineering student Brian Turyabagye designed a biomedical smart jacket and an accompanying mobile application which can track body temperature, breathing rate and lung sound to detect early symptoms.