January 1, 2021

Clinical Pilot Study Malawi

January - April 2021

In January 2021 we started our first clinical Pilot Study in Malawi. This study was done in the Mercy James Pediatric Centre as part of the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. The goal of this study was to validate the intended use of IMPALA v2.0 and gather more design inputs.

Due to COVID-19 the plans of this study were delayed, as the plan was to start this study in 2020. Our colleague Bart Bierling went to Malawi in January 2021 to lead this study for four months.

The study was designed in collaboration with Job Calis, a Paediatric intensivist in Amsterdam Medical Center. In early 2020, we designed the study and set its goals. The prototype was developed in collaboration between Bart Bierling, Tijs Versteegde and Martin Macharia. Martin has made most of the software of the server while Bart did the hardware and software for the product and the app. During the study, we iterated on the user interface to improve the usability.

In order to get a proper sample, our goal was to get 100 participants. Once again, COVID-19 interfered with our pilot study: people were very afraid  to go to the hospital, they would only go if it was actually needed. This led to 30 to 40 participants in the first three months. The study was meant to run for 3 months but ended up being 4 months. A blessing, because the plan was quite ambitious to begin with. We ended up with 50 participants.

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