• Smart fit

    Smart fit

    A biomedical jacket – able to identify symptoms of pneumonia up to four times faster than the average doctor – could potentially help in the fight against an illness responsible for killing roughly half a million sub-Saharan African children under the age of five.

    Developed by a 24-year-old Ugandan engineering graduate, the smart jacket – called Mamaope (‘mother’s hope’) – is designed to diagnose pneumonia symptoms by monitoring temperature, breathing rate and the sound of the lungs. And as most doctors use a stethoscope to check the lungs, the device is capable of eliminating most human error.

    According to a report published by the Guardian, Mamaope – which is currently still a prototype – is expected to be certified for use in health centres and hospitals later this year.

    The jacket was also shortlisted for this year’s GBP25 000 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, which could jumpstart mass production for use across the continent.

    28 March 2017
    Image: RAEng/Brett Eloff