June 2021 - Now
In the first week of June, the IMPALA Project consortium had its initial kick-off meeting and it officially started in June 2021.
Together with our partners, we went through stages of research, development and implementation of the IMPALA monitoring system and supporting applications. We are eager to work together with, and learn from the experts in the field, supporting the project. For us, this is a huge step towards a system that will reduce child mortality in low and middle income countries.
The IMPALA project is led by AIGHD and together with our other partners we made a great team, including people from the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, Amsterdam UMC, Leiden University Medical Center, National eHealth Living Lab (NeLL), University of Malawi, College of Medicine, and Imperial College London.
More than 3 million children in low-resource settings (LRS) die annually due to contextual constraints in LRS healthcare systems that hamper the widespread supply of high-quality healthcare. Many of these deaths are advanced stages of poverty-related diseases that are recognised too late to be treated effectively while treatment usually is available. Monitoring of vital signs is essential for early detection of critical illness as vital signs change early in the course of disease.
Shortage of (qualified) staff and lack of suitable equipment are the main bottlenecks to monitor these children adequately during admission. Current monitoring systems widely used by clinicians in high-resource settings are not suitable for LRS due to their high costs and poor compatibility with LRS settings.
The IMPALA project will address this problem by developing an affordable, durable, and user-friendly monitoring system (IMPALA) for hospitalised children in LRS. By combining innovative sensors, machine learning algorithms and point-of-care biomarkers we create a smart, yet simple, monitoring system that enables health workers to timely detect and predict critical illness.
The meaning of this for GOAL 3 cannot be underestimated. Not only does it provide a significant part of the funding needed for developing our IMPALA monitoring system, but it also gives us access to the best people and research units active in this field.
To understand the IMPALA project better, check-out the blog about the project, which can be found here: https://goal3.medium.com/goal-3-and-the-edctp-grant-abb6f2aff54a
The project is also featured in @KIJK Magazine (in Dutch): https://www.kijkmagazine.nl/tech/monitoringssysteem-als-wapen-tegen-kindersterfte-in-afrika/
Or read more about it on the website: https://www.projectimpala.org/