The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has granted $150,000 to Jerusalem-based RespiDx to further refine its Respimometer for diagnosing childhood pneumonia in low-resource regions.
Respimometer is a cross between a pacifier and a digital oral thermometer, embedded with sensors to measure breathing as a way of detecting pneumonia on the spot. Pneumonia is a serious health problem among infants in the developing world.
The grant will cover manufacturing up to 200 Respimometers and performing a trial in the Democratic Republic of the Congo coordinated by Dr. Michael Hawkes of Alberta University (Canada) under the auspices of a local research NGO, the Association for Health Innovation in Africa.
The grant follows the awarding of a Grand Challenges seed grant to RespiDx and a pilot trial of the prototype Respimometer during December 2015.
The tests in Africa help identify cultural and field conditions that could impact the final design of the reusable product and the training protocol for healthcare workers, says Ian Solomon, VP business development for the Profile Group of Companies, RespiDx’s parent company.
“The idea is to simply diagnose and also simply treat children right in their villages,” says Solomon.
In addition, Solomon says RespiDx is actively engaged in talking to HMOs and telemedicine companies in the United States, in order to adapt the product for their needs.
“We now envisage our RespiDx venture as having both pro-bono and for-profit arms,” he tells ISRAEL21c. “The upcoming version of the product will measure not just temperature and respiratory rate but also all the vital signs except blood pressure.”