xRapid-Malaria: 1 year of automatically diagnosing malaria

xRapid-malaria journey in the field began with a nurse in Papua. Despite the hostile environment and the lack of infrastructure, she was able to save a three-day-old baby by trusting the accurateness of the automated diagnostic app.

Being able to use xRapid to know if malaria is involved helps relieve some of my stress when trying to treat patients with limited diagnostic resources, plus appropriate treatment can be given.” – Nurse

One year later, 15 592 tests have been sold, and 11 countries are using xRapid-Malaria on a daily basis. In 2016, xRapid started new clinical studies in West Africa and signed with distributors in South Africa and South East Asia.

xRapid-Malaria

We need health care solutions in Africa that are designed with the continent’s people and circumstances in mind. Digicape is proud to be supporting the innovative work that xRapid has put into developing the solution that is so simple to use but also empowering to the health care and aid workers, patients, families, and communities.” – Robin Olivier, Managing Director of Digicape.

xRapid-Malaria on the field in Malawi

Symon Nayupe from CHAM and Temwa Kasakula from VSO using xRapid-Malaria in Malawi

Improving diagnostic is an important breakthrough in the management of any disease. xRapid-Malaria brings together the strengths of existing methods while avoiding the flaws. Its costs per test are far below current methods, diagnoses are achieved in a fraction of the time, there are no waste and field workers can easily be trained.

“xRapid is highly appealing to me as it is creating a valuable shift in population health around the globe, utilising standard mobile technology to deliver rapid, accessible diagnostic testing at a trifling cost. xRapid is well positioned for impact across the world and transverses the spectrum of healthcare and economic variances.” –Charlyn Belluzzo, Board Member and Clinical Director.

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur de Lille testing the beta version of xRapid-Lab

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur de Lille testing the beta version of xRapid-Lab

With xRapid-Malaria, the MedTech company contributes to the effort of reducing the burden of this deadly disease. But, re-thinking diagnostics is only the first step.

A year after its first release, xRapid wants to deepen its contribution by assisting labs in their research on malaria. Its new app, xRapid-Lab captures and analyses images from thin blood slides giving, in less than 2 minutes, a detail report for each of the samples tested. This new tool offers an easy to track Plasmodium culture.

Few Tropical Research Institutes already tested xRapid-Lab beta version.Thanks to their insights the automated Plasmodium counter will soon go live on the Appstore!

Malaria is expected to be eliminated by 2040

World health experts consider that a malaria free world is possible within a generation. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report “Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030”, by 2020, six countries in Africa are already expected to be malaria-free: Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Comoros, South Africa and Swaziland.

Since 2000 great progress has been made around the globe, driven by the technological progress made by eliminating countries, donors, partners and the private sector. The WHO report states that the use of insecticide-treated bed nets, regular bug spraying inside houses and rapid diagnostic testing, such as RDT and xRapid-Malaria, have led to a rapid decline of the infection rates.

Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, the retired assistant director-general for malaria at WHO said it was crucial that the African continent took advantage of the technological opportunities now present to fight and eradicate the disease. Doctor Pedro Alonso, director of Global Malaria Programme at WHO added: “New technologies must go hand with strong political and financial commitment”.

Malaria is a preventable disease. Technological tools such as the automated diagnostic app helps people find it, track it and eliminate it.

Malaria free world by 2040

Source: http://www.shrinkingthemalariamap.org/

Click on the picture to see the evolution over time, from 1900 to 2040.

First outing for xRapid automated malaria diagnosis in West Africa

Last February (from 15th until 20th) Charles Van Overmeire, xRapid’s Head of sales, visited Benin and Nigeria. His first stop was at Cotonou, the largest city and economic center of Benin where he met forxRapid automated malaria diagnosis conference the first time Mr Antoine Awounou, owner of BICI des 3A, xRapid’s distributor in Benin since 2016. Apart from this meeting, this trip was an opportunity to gather key actors in the malaria field and introduce them to the iPhone app. A conference was held by Charles Van Overmeire with the help of Terence Lawson, xRapid Business Manager in Benin, in front of researchers from CNHU Hospital (National University Hospital Center) and Benin’s University as well as laboratory representatives, Professor Gazard ex-health minister and the Benin press. The demonstration of the automated diagnostic test for malaria was a great success with all the participants. Responsive to the e-health technology, the ex-health minister welcomed xRapid’s head of sales to CNHU where they visited the facilities and discussed possible future projects.

This trip was followed by a second stop in Nigeria where Charles Van Overmeire met major players in the fight to eradicate malaria in Nigeria. One is for instance, currently a sub-recipient to the Global Fund Malaria New Funding Model for core Programme implementation and Social Mobilization activities in the High Burden (HB) Northern States of Nigeria.

xRapid would like to thank all the wonderful people our Head of sales met in Benin and Nigeria. We look forward to our next visit !

 

For any enquiries regarding Nigeria: please contact Charles Van Overmeire at charles@xrapid.com

For any enquiries regarding Benin: please contact Terence Lawson at terence@xrapid.com or Mister Awounou at bicibenin@yahoo.fr

xRapid 1.11 is ready

xRapid 1.11 : Brand new design Brand new navigation Print/email/store diagnostic reports   xRapid 1.11 is out and we have been hard at work, with a string of refinements and updates. new pdf report, “Clinical Laboratory Result” for each test performed which you can print, email and store numerous bug fixes serious interface refresh, both […]

Malaria Deaths are Preventable.

The recent news of a British Airways stewardess dying as a result of contracting malaria shows that fast, accessible diagnosis is needed.

Sundays news that a British Airways stewardess has died from malaria related causes while working on a long haul flight between Heathrow and Accra may come as a shock to many. The issue of malaria usually feels disconnected to those living in the western world; it is a disease of poverty that effects developing countries in tropical climates. However tragic this may be, many are not directly effected by the significant damage that this very preventable disease can do until faced with similar circumstances to this tragic event.

Like so many other deaths that are caused by malaria, this case highlights need for prompt diagnosis. Malaria is a very dangerous disease and if it is not tackled head on it causes untold complications that can lead to mortality. A fast, accurate diagnosis is needed to catch the disease at the first sign of symptoms. If visiting a country with high transmission rates for malaria such as Ghana, diagnosis should be sought on the immediate onset of fever, vomiting, muscle pain or even headache. The risk is present, but as with many diseases, the earlier treatment can begin the more effective it will be.

Visitors to malaria endemic countries are at greater risk of contracting malaria than locals because of a lack of immunity. People who have been living in endemic zones develop a symptomatic immunity to the disease after contracting it several times. This puts an emphasis on visitors protecting themselves from malaria using methods of prophylaxis, be they pharmaceutical or by using preventative measures such as insecticide treated bed nets and repellent. However, even the slightest lapse in discipline on these measures can have grave consequences.  There is a story on the NHS website that explains how traveler Alex Beard contracted the disease after studying in Ghana for four and a half months. She decided to travel back to England by land and contracted malaria in Burkina Faso after spending a night outside her mosquito net. She didn’t take heed of her symptoms and took painkillers to cope until she was too weak to function, when her friend took her to a small clinic to be diagnosed. What followed was 18 months of struggle with the disease causing long term damage to her digestive system. Had she been diagnosed sooner her malaria would almost definitely have been less serious.

One problem is that it is difficult to access malaria diagnosis everywhere. The most accurate methods take time and analysis to achieve a result, and can only be performed in laboratories. xRapid has built a solution for this problem. Not only is xRapid highly portable, it can also inform health workers and patients very quickly as to whether or not they have malaria, whilst simultaneously providing insight into how advanced the infection is, informing the appropriate treatment and care to prevent complications and deaths.

Our thoughts go out to the family of the British Airways stewardess that so sadly passed away last week. At xRapid we are trying to ensure that there is diagnostic technology available so that the next flight attendant, traveler or entire village in the most remote areas in Africa will have access to the diagnosis they need to inform proper treatment and stop their lives being put at risk.