Basic medical imaging technologies, mainly radiography and ultrasound, are essential tools of the modern medicine. They are crucial for taking adequate diagnostic decisions for a wide variety of conditions such as pregnancy, road traffic accidents, tuberculosis, complications of infant pneumonia and cardiovascular problems. Yet over two thirds of the world’s population does not have access to these vital medical instruments.
This is mainly due to the mismatch in between existing technologies and the context of developing countries. The equipment are often too expensive, too complex and too fragile to be adapted to the conditions of district hospitals with very limited resources.
The GlobalDiagnostiX project aims in redesigning an ultra-robust radiology device with a service-life of more than 10 years, but with a total cost of ownership reduced 10 times with respects to existing solutions. The project officially started in 2012. It represents now an alliance of more than 35 researchers, engineers and domain experts under the coordination of the EssentialTech team from the Cooperation and Development Center at EPFL (CODEV).
The first research phases emphasize important innovations that were valued by several scientific publications, demonstrating the exceptional challenges that the project represents. The realization of the first fully functional prototype is expected by the end of 2014.
GlobalDiagnostiX is a unique project as it is actually the only initiative which is trying to solve a reputedly intractable problem, identified by WHO in the 70s. It is based on a highly multidisciplinary and international approaches involving experts from different cultures.