MILLWOOD, VA--(Marketwired - Jun 27, 2013) - Project HOPE, a global health and disaster relief organization, and AT&T are teaming up to save lives by taking on pneumonia in the developing world. Using a pioneering new technology they plan to help young children in Africa, and by going inside factories in Cambodia, treat expectant mothers on the production line.
"AT&T has long been committed to improving health systems," said Dr. Geeta Nayyar, chief medical information officer for AT&T. "Through the application of innovative technology we can help build healthier lives for children in developing countries who don't have access to the type of medical care they deserve. We are delighted to be involved with an organization like Project HOPE that is making such a deep impact around the world." Pneumonia is the number one killer of children under five in the developing world and Project HOPE has come up with a pioneering device that could make dramatic strides in diagnosing a disease that claims more young victims than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
Supported in part by a $75,000 contribution from AT&T, HOPE has developed the innovative INSPIRE pediatric device, together with Virginia-based technology company, Guardit. INSPIRE is an electronic aid that will help health workers make swift and accurate early diagnoses of pneumonia and save lives by making an accurate reading of a child's breath count -- a key indicator of the condition. The device works when it is placed on the chest of a child, and uses a patent pending algorithm.
Currently, the standard method for counting breath rate in developing countries relies on visual counts using a one minute timer or counting beads, which often leads to inaccurate results which can lead to sick children going without antibiotics and healthy kids getting drugs they don't need.
"After rigorous testing of the device is completed, healthcare workers in the field in Africa will be able to better serve the population and correctly diagnose pneumonia, and INSPIRE's low price -- about $15 - $20 -- makes it easily deployable to millions of health workers around the world," said Judith Moore, Senior Advisor for Women and Children's Health at Project HOPE.
In Cambodia, HOPE's HealthWorks is providing women with affordable and accessible quality health services inside five textile factories.
Thousands of women work in Cambodia's textile factories sewing goods usually destined for the West. The HealthWorks program brings crucial health knowledge directly to women at work and establishes crucial connections to external health care services for women strained by the demands of factory work and young children.
"It's imperative that we reach women at work if we are to directly impact women's health, specifically the causes of mortality and morbidity associated with child bearing and this program is designed to encompass support and engagement from the manufacturers and buyers of consumer products. We view this as a long-term, sustainable program that can be replicated in a variety of settings in the developing world," said Moore.
AT&T has long been committed to modernizing health care through its support of Project HOPE's global health programs and disaster relief efforts for almost three decades. AT&T has supported HOPE's humanitarian missions with the U.S. Navy, funding the deployment of medical volunteers throughout the developing world, and most notably, to Indonesia after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami which devastated communities in Indonesia and much of South Asia in 2010. AT&T has provided contributions to Project HOPE to help build health systems in the developing world, including the Shanghai Children's Medical Center, and the Basrah Children's Hospital in Iraq, the first new hospital built in the country since the early 1980s and the only dedicated pediatric hospital in Iraq. The hospital features high-impact children's health services with a special focus on oncology.
"There is still much work to be done and our commitment to helping underserved communities remains steadfast," said Geeta Naayar at AT&T.
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health crises, with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now conducts land-based medical training and health education programs in 35 countries across five continents. Visit our website projecthope.org and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg.