Lab-Grade Diagnosis, Anywhere & Anytime
Can you describe the current need for better malaria diagnostics and treatment?
Among the many diseases that we deal with, malaria is one of the most problematic one. Most of the time people talk about HIV which causes lots of problems in Malawi, but most diseases that we see in Malawi come from malaria, not from HIV. For malaria, which is quite acute and kills a lot of children, we still have a lot of big problems to solve. The biggest challenge we face is identifying whether our patients who come to our hospital with fever have malaria or other infectious diseases. Correctly identifying malaria in our young patients is crucial, but it is very difficult at the moment to diagnose malaria quickly and easily.
Could you elaborate on the research collaboration with Noul in Malawi?
Even though we’ve known how to treat Malaria for 80-100 years, it is still one of the biggest problems we face because we have difficulty diagnosing it.
But by partnering with Noul, we are able to quickly identify malaria patients through miLab. miLab also allows us to retain and accumulate data for more powerful diagnosis by the AI. With miLab and Noul, we can finally start talking about eliminating malaria.
What impact do you expect from implementing miLab?
Scalability. Conceptually, miLab has the scalability to analyze any disease that is diagnosed with a microscope. I hope we can expand our research areas to other infectious diseases, sepsis, latent tuberculosis, and even to blood cancer.
Accessibility. miLab also improved accessibility because it is small, portable, and uses little electricity. It also has a battery, which is helpful in Africa where we often experience blackouts.
Data. Lastly, miLab allows us to retain and accumulate data which can be accessed remotely and without time restrictions. This will allow us to get external help on difficult cases by experienced microscopists.