A leading health technology company, Royal Phillips, on Thursday said its Children’s Automated Respiration Monitor device, designed to tackle dreaded disease, Pneumonia, would be made available to the public soon.
This is contained in a statement by the company on Thursday to in Lagos to commemorate with the World Pneumonia Day.
The statement said the device aimed at improving diagnosis in the treatment of pneumonia in low resistant countries.
"The Children’s Automated Respiration Monitor has the potential to assist community health workers in establishing a more accurate measurement of a sick child’s breathing rate to help improve the diagnosis of pneumonia.
"Each year, pneumonia kills more children than , malaria and tuberculosis combined, and remains the leading infectious cause of death among children under-five.
"It kills nearly 2,500 children a day, with most victims under two years of age,’’ the statement said.
It noted that every 35 seconds, a child died of pneumonia with 99 per cent of deaths occurring in low-resource settings in developing countries.
The statement said these countries were typically rural with poor health care facilities, and where treatment was not available for many children.
It stressed further that an important aspect in diagnosing pneumonia was the monitoring of the child’s breathing rate.
"In many emerging markets, community health workers manually count through visual inspection how many breaths a child takes in the span of one minute.
"But achieving an accurate count can be difficult as shallow breaths are hard to detect, children often move around and there may be distractions and other checks to perform,’’ the statement said.
It explained that the device converted chest movements detected by accelerometers into an accurate breathing count using specially developed algorithms.
The statement said the monitor not only provided quantitative feedback, but also qualitative feedback to the healthcare provider based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
"Accurate diagnosis of breathing counts will support health workers in administering the antibiotics that children with pneumonia need, potentially preventing many of the deaths caused by pneumonia each year.
"Additionally, accurate diagnosis could help rationalise the use of antibiotics, by potentially reducing unnecessary costs and antibiotics overuse rates, which contributes to the rise of drug-resistant diseases,’’ the statement said.
It said that the Philips Children’s Automated Respiration Monitor would be a game changer in diagnosing and treating pneumonia.
"If we can remove the subjectivity associated with health workers counting breaths, we can improve the quality of treatment and help improve patient outcomes,” the statement said.
It, however, mentioned the commitment of Philips’ technology to the improvement of lives through technology.
"As a leading health technology company, Philips’ vision is to improve peoples’ lives through meaningful innovation.
"Today, the population growth is highest in emerging markets like Africa and South East Asia.
"Innovation can help drive sustainable solutions that bridge the divide between the privileged and lesser privileged sections of society to improve the quality of life at all levels,’’ the statement quoted Van Dongen, CEO Philips Africa as saying.
It added that the device was pending CE-marking and was expected to become commercially available from the second quarter of 2016.
The World Pneumonia Day is annually held on November 12, to raise awareness about pneumonia, promote prevention and treatment, as well as generate action to fight the illness.
World Pneumonia Day supports all efforts made to protect and treat people against pneumonia, the single largest cause of child deaths worldwide.