global health

Point of care - third trimester ultrasound for resource-poor countries

Teams who accept this challenge will develop a portable simulated model for teaching Third Trimester - Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) in resource-poor countries that meets the ISUOG criteria. Ultimately, this model would allow for POCUS training to determine fetal position, number of fetuses, fetal heart rate, placental location, amniotic fluid volume (AFV) and fetal biometry in the third trimester of pregnancy. Rudimentary models have been attempted, but with little success. POCUS is the use of ultrasound technology to assess patients in variety of settings. Ultrasound machines have the added advantage of being portable, affordable, durable and reliable. Ultrasound imaging is the primary imaging modality for women’s health and is safe for obstetrical imaging. Simplified and standardized training on a portable model is required to ensure the systematic approach to a third trimester ultrasound examination and recognition of treatable anomalies in developing countries. Maternal mortality remains elevated in these countries. About 830 women die from pregnancy — or childbirth — related complications around the world every day. Most causes are preventable. The ability to use ultrasound in the setting of third trimester point of care screening in developing countries would positively affect delivery planning.

A LOW-COST DIGITAL OTOSCOPE

Access to tertiary care Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialists is extremely limited in many regions outside of major academic centres in North America, while lengthy waitlists in metropolitan areas impair timely access to quality care. This disparity is even worse in most developing countries, where ENT specialist access is almost entirely through medical missions. The challenge is to make a low cost digital otoscope, capable of taking pictures of the ear drum which can be sent to an ENT or other experienced health care provider to allow for more accurate and timely diagnosis. This solution could be given to primary care providers and could be consumer facing, democratizing access to timely and accurate tertiary specialist care.