At CES 2017, an Ugandan start-up demonstrated an app for diagnosing and testing malaria without the need for a blood sample.
Matibabu, a start-up launched by computer science students at Makerere University in Uganda, demonstrated its project at the TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield competition at CES 2017.
The team didn’t win the competition but gained a lot of attention for their project, which they hope will revolutionise the testing and diagnoses of malaria.
Matibabu’s app uses light and magnetics to analyse red blood cells in a similar way to pulsoximetry, which is a way to measure how much oxygen your blood is carrying. By connecting a device called a matiscope, the app can scan peoples fingers and determine any signs of malaria infection.
Results are rapidly available which can be shared with medical professionals and can potentially reduce the time it takes to get blood sample readings back.
Despite losing the TechCrunch competition, the Matibabu project has gained a lot of attention. Funding support, approved by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded, alongside startup competition awards and medical device industry support.
The project driven by Josiah Kavuma, Simon Lubambo, Joshua Businge and Brian Gitta is well on its way to being refined for the healthcare marketplace, and is now achieving about 80% accuracy.