How life’s disappointments could not stop these students from inventing a life-saving device
Fueled by a passion to help Nigerians solve medical challenges in real time, two Electronics/Electrical Engineering students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, have invented a life-saving device to assess vital diagnostic information from the human body. The results of the diagnosis can then be sent by the patient, at the touch of a button, to the pre-installed phone number of a doctor or care giver who can send an ambulance to the patient (if an emergency is detected) or communicate instructions, if any of the vital signs are unusual.
Four years back, when Lawal Teslim Alao applied to study Medicine at LAUTECH, hardly did he know some disappointment would lurk in his way. Rather than having a chance to become a medical doctor, the young man got admitted to study Chemistry, instead. Yet, as a sophomore, Lawal changed over to Electronics/Electrical Engineering, a course he currently looks forward to completing as a 500 level student. Lawal’s fascination with the field of Medicine did not fade away, as he decided to get himself busy inventing devices related to medicine, because of his passion for that field of study.
Lawal’s partner in this exciting, yet tasking journey as an inventor is Oyeranmi Sheriff Oluwatosin. Unlike Lawal, however, Oyeranmi has had a passion for electronics from the age of 6. Despite getting himself electrocuted several times over, while tinkering with electrical appliances as he grew up, Oyeranmi is currently a 300 level Electronics/Electrical Engineering student at LAUTECH.
The Mobile Health Monitoring System they invented uses a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and GSM interface and measures the blood pressure, heart beat and temperature of a patient, simultaneously.
According to Oyeranmi, “there are three different types of equipment available in the market today for measuring the these vital signs. There is a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure, a thermometer for measuring temperature and an equipment for measuring heartbeat. Our device combines the three measurements into one piece of equipment and requires no prerequisite knowledge to operate it. It can also communicate the results of the test with the caregiver or doctor, either within the vicinity or at a remote location, through SMS.”
Lawal says the device is in the prototype stage, though the duo has plans to upgrade the system to detect if a patient has sickle cell, by adding on more sensors to it.
“These sensors will be placed on different joints in the body, to detect the disease and predict a crisis, so that urgent measures might be taken by a caregiver. An app is also in the works to help patients get first aid medicare instructions, prescription advice and general medical advice from qualified doctors.”
The young inventors are actively looking to mass produce the device and are open to investment opportunities and support.
Recently, the two won the third prize in the just concluded Professor Ayodele Awojobi Design Competition held at the University of Lagos where they went home with 100,000 naira in prize money.
Both have decided to invest that prize money in their projects.
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Chiamaka Akuba51 Posts
Chiamaka Akuba is a graduate of Mass Communication of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She is passionate about emerging markets and entrepreneurship and is actively working with the industry. She loves her conversations challenging and can’t help laughing when you call her ‘Honourable Writer of the Federal Republic'. Chiamaka is a Staff Writer at Outrepreneurs.