Ugandan Graduate Invents Pneumonia-Detecting Jacket

March 8, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. misdiagnose / mɪsˈdaɪ əgˌnoʊs / (v.) – to wrongly identify a disease
Example: The doctor misdiagnosed her and said that she had cancer.

2.  preliminary / prɪˈlɪm əˌnɛr I / (adj.) – initial or before the main part
Example: She already finished the preliminary examinations.

3.  certification / ˌsɜr tə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the process of making something official
Example: They had to undergo certification before they could teach.

4. shortlist /ˈʃɔrtˌlɪst / (v.) – to list something among candidates that are likely to be chosen
Example: She was shortlisted for a promotion because of her performance.

5. mass-produce / ˈmæs prəˈdus / (v.) – to manufacture products in large numbers for wide distribution
Example: The invention was mass-produced after the design was certified.


Read the text below.
An engineering graduate from Uganda developed a smart jacket that can diagnose pneumonia quickly and accurately.

Brian Turyabagye, 24, came up with the idea for the smart jacket following the death of his friend's grandmother. When she fell seriously ill, the doctor misdiagnosed her with malaria. However, they later found out that she was actually suffering from pneumonia.

The two diseases have very similar symptoms, making it easy to mistake one for the other. According to Turyabagye, most of the pneumonia-related deaths in Uganda, which affect around 27,000 children a year, are due to doctors’ misdiagnosis.

Turyabagye's invention, which he calls Mama-Ope (Mother's Hope), diagnoses pneumonia differently from doctors. Unlike doctors who use stethoscopes /ˈstɛθ əˌskoʊps/ to check the lungs from the chest and back, the smart jacket checks the side points of the body where pneumonia tends to be found. It is equipped with a stethoscope that is linked to a mobile phone app, which would record sound from the patient’s lungs.

The smart jacket also scans the patient’s temperature and breathing rate to make a preliminary diagnosis. The device can diagnose pneumonia three to four times faster than a doctor. It is also said to reduce human error in the process.

As of January 2017, the smart jacket is ready to undergo National medical examination for certification. If approved, more units of the jacket will be developed and distributed in all hospitals in Uganda.

The jacket was also shortlisted for this year's Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, which offers a reward of more than $31,000. Turyabagye said that if his invention wins, he will use the money to mass-produce the jacket and distribute it throughout Africa.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you believe that technological devices can reduce human error in diagnosis? Why or why not?
·         For which situation would you rely more on technology: diagnosis or treatment? Why?

Discussion B

·         What are other ways to raise money for the mass production of an invention?
·         Why is it important to give funds to new inventors? Discuss.

March 8, 2017