Ebola Virus 'Ebola-Proof' Tablet Device Developed

A tablet device that can withstand being doused in chlorine has been developed to help doctors caring for patients with Ebola.

  • Published:
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Designed by technology volunteers and Google, it can be used even wearing gloves and in storms and high humidity.

Medecins Sans Frontieres put out a call for an Ebola-proof tablet to help teams’ record vital patient information.

At the height of the current outbreak, medics were shouting patient notes across fences to avoid contamination.

High-risk zones

Ebola is passed on through close contact with infected bodily fluids.

Even a single piece of paper leaving a high-risk zone poses a risk of passing on the infection, the charity says.

And medics caring for these patients have to be encased in full protective suits with goggles and multiple layers of gloves, despite the soaring temperatures.

But dictating notes across a fence at the end of exhausting shifts while wearing masks was a "recipe for error", MSF said.

To overcome these challenges the group of international tech volunteers came together, including Pim de Witte of Whitespell and Daniel Cunningham at Hack4Good. They were later joined by Google.

The tablet has waterproof casing at an "industrial level" according to Ivan Gayton, technology advisor at MSF.

It can be dunked in 0.5% chlorine solution which kills Ebola - if used on unprotected hands this strength of chlorine could cause chemical burns.

Sharp edges of the tablet were removed so that protective clothing would not be pierced.

And it is charged quickly and wirelessly by being placed on a table. The tablet connects wirelessly to a tiny local network server that is roughly the size of a postage stamp.

Health workers use it to track a patient's progress - comparing pulse, temperature and other results over time.

Mr Gayton said: "Although we have just treated the largest cohort of Ebola patients in human history, we still know distressingly little about the progression of the disease.

"In the longer term if we are able to collect more and better information about our patients, we will also learn more about the disease and how best to treat it."

Difficult scenarios

The device has been tested at MSF treatment centres in Sierra Leone.

The charity hopes the technology - which is open-source - will be adapted for use in other difficult scenarios such as outbreaks of cholera.

Dr Eric Perakslis, from Harvard Medical School, works on separate global health innovation projects. He said: "A handful of companies are trying to find a technological solutions for the Ebola crisis.

"But they face a lot of challenges such as unreliable electricity. This one addresses all the challenges at once.

"And it will not just be useful for single patient encounters but for research on the virus too."

Ganesh Shankar, product manager at Google, said: "I think this kind of partnership represents the future of how non-governmental organisations are going to integrate technology into the work they do."

Source: BBC

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 Video Soldier detained for leaking Flagstaff House brutality videobullet
2 SONA President Akufo-Addo presents maiden State of the Nation Addressbullet
3 Ghana Police IGP in another radical police shake-upbullet
4 State of the Nation Address Policeman heckles GTV cameraman during...bullet
5 Kumasi Technical Institute Over 20 injured after students clash...bullet
6 Assault Police must crack this case- Otiko Djababullet
7 Pay Day NDC Ministers troop to Flagstaff House for ex-gratiabullet
8 State of the Nation Address Nana Addo condemns unlawful...bullet
9 Judiciary William Atuguba is acting Chief Justicebullet
10 SHS Education Free SHS will collapse our business -...bullet

Top Videos

1 Video Police officer attacked at Flagstaff Housebullet
2 Meet "The Beast" President Obama's Cadillac that's more tank than carbullet
3 Obinim What happen'd when we fact checked Obinim's Bible knowledgebullet
4 Video Taxi driver terrified after an encounter with a ghostbullet
5 Refugee Ghanaian to lose fingers after 7-hour trek to cross US...bullet
6 Kwame Nkrumah Interchange Water leaks from hole in wall at new...bullet
7 Vitiligo Enam Honya - is challenging what you think about beautybullet
8 Watch Kumchacha delivers Counselor Lutterodt from 'demons'bullet
9 Trade Fair Fire Police give an update on La Gas explosionbullet
10 Bishop Obinim Saga Teenagers disciplined by Obinim...bullet

News