Arthur Zang, the Cameroonian inventor who came up with the Cardiopad, bagged $37,000 prize at the African Engineering Award.
The Cardiopad is a custom-made tablet suited for medical use by medical practitioners working in remote areas. It enables the medics conduct heart examinations such as the Electrocardiogram (ECG) and send the results electronically to doctors in urban areas for diagnosis. For more on this click here.
Authoritative sources say there are about 50 cardiologists across Cameroon, most of whom are based in urban areas. Meaning cardiologist services is virtually unavailable to the majority of Cameroonians living in remote rural areas. If they are looking for such health services, they must travel to the cities as the locally available medical centers do not provide such health care services.
This traveling to the urban areas for medical checkup more often than not proves to be an expensive undertaking for most Cameroonians living in the countryside. However, with the cardiopad, the cardiologist tests could be run at the near medical center and the results sent to the cardiologist based in the urban areas.
Arthur Zang was awarded for his innovation at the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, an award by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. The ceremony was held in Dar es Salaam the capital of Tanzania.
In a statement to the BBC, Zang said, “My uncle died from a stroke after I had already started working on the Cardiopad and this gave me extra motivation to see the project through to the end.”
The devices are being distributed at no charge across hospitals and clinics in Cameroon, and the patients are charged $29 per year for use. It is also being sold in countries like Gabon, India, and Nepal.