Addis Ababa – The African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI) said that it has initiated the implementation of an integrated Cell Phone application to boost the diagnosis of neglected diseases at point of care in Africa.
A statement issued on Thursday said that it is going to team up with the Chinese Equal Access to Scientific Excellence (EASE) Medtrend Biotech company to implement it.
The project uses an Integrated Mobile Diagnostics Readout, called the EASE App Technology, to attain state-of-the-art results for multiple diseases in less time and less cost.
ANDI said that the platforms will by-pass the use of sophisticated and expensive laboratory instruments which are difficult to use in resource poor settings.
“The Application is now being optimised to perform different Point of Care and Rapid Diagnostics Tests (RDTs) for diseases that are prevalent in Africa.
“Field evaluation is scheduled to start in Ghana, Ethiopia and Nigeria within the next two months,’’ the statement said.
ANDI is a partnership set up through the World Health Organisation (WHO) to promote and sustain African-led health innovation to address African public health needs through efficient use of local knowledge.
It will also exploit the knowledge of group of research networks, and building of capacity to support the development.
EASE-Medtrend Biotech CEO, Dr Peter Chun, said “we can really make a difference especially in Africa where we want to place a lot of our efforts.
“We are not re-inventing RDTs basic principles, we are making them more user friendly, manageable and affordable with all that Big Data and Cloud Computing can do for it.
“Most Mobile Applications in the medical field provide a platform for information exchange and consultation but do not replace hardware.
“The EASE App aims to replace bulky and sophisticated instruments which have limited utility in rural communities of Africa,’’ he said.
According to the statement, it can also be scaled or expanded to incorporate multiple tests.
It said that this includes routine laboratory diagnoses such as blood and urine analyses and tests for a number of communicable and non-communicable diseases that are now common in Africa.
The Executive Director of ANDI, Dr Solomon Nwaka, said “this leap-frogging approach to innovation in Africa is very promising.
The mobile platform can be a game-changer for neglected diseases and other routine disease diagnosis in Africa; it can also support disease surveillance and drug resistance monitoring.
“This initiative is part of a South-South collaboration supported by the WHO and we are now engaging other stakeholders and donors on this project,’’ he said.
ANDI focuses on addressing Africa’s health needs by harnessing the untapped power of collaboration among African researchers as well as equitable North-South and South-South partnerships, with the vision of creating a sustainable platform for health innovation in Africa.
ANDI is hosted by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (PANA/NAN)