Childhood Pneumonia Screener: a concept
© The Author(s) 2014
Received: 15 September 2014
Accepted: 1 December 2014
Published: 31 December 2014
Childhood pneumonia continues to be the number one cause of death in children under five years of age in developing countries. In addition to mortality, pneumonia constitutes an enormous economic and social burden because late diagnosis is associated with high cost of treatment and often leads to chronic health problems. There are several bottlenecks in developing countries in the case flow of a child with lung infection: 1) recognising the symptoms as a reason to seek care, 2) getting the patient to a first-tier health facility, 3) scarcity of trained healthcare personnel who can diagnose the condition and its severity, 4) access to a second-tier facility in severe cases. These factors are commonly present in rural areas but even in more urban settings, access to a physician is often delayed. The Childhood Pneumonia Screener project aims at bridging the diagnostic gap using emerging technology. Mobile “smart” phone communication with several inexpensive dedicated sensors is proposed as a rapid data-collection and transmission unit that is connected to a central location where trained personnel assisted by sophisticated signal processing algorithms, evaluate the data and determine if the child is likely to have pneumonia and what the level and urgency of care should be.