The Matibabu application, whose name means “medical center” in Swahili, allows you to detect and monitor the development of malaria in affected people. It works as follows: the user inserts his finger into the matiscope, a device connected to a smartphone and which penetrates under the skin, thanks to an infrared emission, to examine the red blood cells.
“It has been shown that infected red blood cells have a different physical, chemical and biomedical structure compared to a normal red blood cell, from which we used light scattering technology to determine the patterns of dispersion of normal cells and infected cells. Unlike the models, the app is able to diagnose malaria without a blood test, “said Brian Gitta, who is with Joshua Businge, Simon Lubambo and Josiah Kavuma, one of the inventors of the process.
After the diagnosis of the disease, the results of the analysis are sent to OneDrive (ex-SkyDrive, Microsoft cloud storage service, editor’s note) so that the doctor and the patient can see it. The aim of the inventors, all students at Makerere University in Uganda, is to be able to treat malaria at an early stage before it causes mental illness or other after-effects in the patient. It is also about preventing miscarriages in pregnant women who are more exposed to the disease.
For the moment, Matibabu can only work with the Windows operating system on the phone, but the inventors are already planning to develop it on other media. They gave themselves two years to properly deploy their application. The tool will be free, but the matiscope will cost between $ 20 and $ 35.