Our projects

GlobalDiagnostiX – Medical imaging

According to WHO, 2/3 of humanity has no access to radiology. The aim of the GlobalDiagnostiX project was to improve this situation by developing and deploying an innovative X-Ray imaging machine specifically adapted to the contexts frequently found in low and middle-income countries, such as erratic power supply, lack of financial resources for the maintenance of medical equipment, lack of highly skilled healthcare workers, and hot and humid climates.

Alongside the device, a training program was also developed to increase the number of staff able to operate such a device in order to produce quality images and diagnostics.

An X-Ray machine as seen in a hospital in Cameroon. ©EPFL/Sylvain Liechti
Second prototype of the innovative
GlobalDiagnostiX device. ©HES-SO/Guillaume Perret

Several innovative technologies were developed and combined to meet the demanding requirements imposed by the targeted contexts. These innovations happened thanks to a collaboration between Swiss research institutions, private companies, and medical specialists in Cameroon. After this phase, the project yielded the creation of a spin-off company, Pristem SA, which is in charge of industrializing the device, making a CE-marked medical device, and putting it on the market.

The first machines will be installed in 2023.

GlobalNeoNat – Newborn health

Among the causes of neonatal mortality, hypothermia is one of the most important in developing countries, even though up to 40% of deaths associated with hypothermia could be prevented by appropriate thermal management. Attempts have been made to develop appropriate incubators or simplified infant warmers but most suffer from a series of drawbacks.
The essential incubator is simple and intuitive to use, bearing all the features of a “high-tech” incubator whilst being well adapted to the context of a district hospital in the developing world.

Infant incubator with bottle of hot water used to compensate the broken heating system. ©EPFL/Sylvain Liechti
Incubator design prototype according to the concept model co-designed by EPFL and ECAL/Fabien Roy. ©ECAL/Fabien Roy

GlobalO2 – Access to oxygen

Oxygen is essential to treat pulmonary and cardiovascular problems as well as for surgery, and yet it is largely unavailable in health systems in low and middle-income countries. Existing solutions are too expensive, too fragile and too complex. In particular, oxygen concentrators, which are devices designed to generate oxygen, cannot work sustainably in hot, humid and dusty climates. This project aims to develop a robust and low-cost oxygen concentrator, able to provide access to oxygen in primary health structures.