In 2015, pneumonia was the leading cause of death in patients under the age of 5, claiming almost one million children worldwide. It has been reported by UNICEF that there is a need for access to a more affordable diagnostic method to reduce the number of deaths in populations with limited access to medical infrastructure. Tabla seeks to meet this need by providing an inexpensive method of diagnosing pneumonia. The device sends sound waves into the body using a surface exciter, records acoustic backscatter with a digital stethoscope, and analyzes the received signal in order to assess the presence of pneumonia. Tabla provides an order of magnitude improvement on portability, accessibility and cost over the current gold standard of chest x-ray, targeting patients in areas with limited access to advanced medical care. The device has IRB approval at UCSF and is currently being tested with adult and pediatric patients.
Local, community-based service agencies in developing countries are increasingly attempting to collect data in order to measure the social impact of their work in areas