VENTURES AFRICA- Internet giant Google, in collaboration with other technology volunteers has developed a tablet device to aid doctors caring for Ebola patients. Medical staff can use this to track a patient’s progress as it connects wirelessly to a tiny local network server about the size of a postage stamp.
It is designed to withstand toxic substances and harsh weather conditions by using protective casings. The edges of this shield are also made relatively smooth to avoid any risk of penetrating the protective clothing used by health workers.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) cried out for an Ebola-proof tablet to help staff record vital patient information. At the peak of the epidemic, it had gotten to a point where doctors had to verbally report medical records to avoid infection. This is because passing any paper or files for documentation were very risky at the time.
According to Ivan Gayton, Technology advisor at MSF, the tablet has waterproof casing at an industrial level. He also explained that despite handling a bulk of the Ebola cases, there is still a lot of work to be done on analysing 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.”
The device has been tested at MSF treatment centres in Sierra Lone. The organisation hopes that this device will eventually be used during other outbreaks such as cholera.