Ugandan Students Invent a Pregnancy Scan Machine

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This pearl of Africa is full of constructive brains, if they are well made use of, Uganda would be a much better place by now.

Recently, The Team, Cipher 256 of three students from Makerere University Kampala (MUK) invented a pregnancy scan machine that has already won an award, at the 2012 Microsoft East and Southern Africa Imagine Cup.

Aaron Tushabe, Joshua Okello and Josiah Kavuma, all members of the University’s College of Computing and Information Technology (CIT), invented WinSenga, a hand-held device that can scan a pregnant woman’s womb to monitor baby movements and detect ectopic pregnancy or abnormal heart beats.

This device will help ease testing task in private and public hospital that has been previously done manually. Now, a trained medical personnel in a school, hospital or clinic will make use of this device to diagnose for pregnancy , and keep records for future use, as the devices automatically records any entry.

WinSenga is made of a traditional funnel-like pinard horn which midwives and gynecologists typically use to listen to fetal sounds. The horn is connected to a smart phone by an external microphone which is strategically placed at the flat end of the horn. According to information available on Makerere University’s website, the phone contains an application that has a sound recording module and sound analysis module which will produce a report detailing the position of the baby during the different trimesters, the age of the baby and the fetal heart rate. When the horn is pressed on the abdomen, the phone screen displays data on the condition and location of the fetus.

Currently, midwives use the traditional pinard to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Though they might not always hear everything or get enough details about the baby. WinSenga will aid the doctors to get better results and thus provide appropriate health care.

The device can help you determine age of the fetus, weight, positioning and breathing pattern of the growing baby. This would help doctors have a better picture of what precautions they have to take for any case of pregnancy.

The three partners invented the WinSenga as an entry for the 2012 Microsoft East and Southern Africa Imagine Cup competition. It took the top position. WinSenga will go on to compete in the Imagine Cup Worldwide finals to be held in Sydney, Australia in July.

According to Tushabe one of the founders, they intend to put WinSenga device of market in July after the Imagine Cup Wordwide finals, it will be sold at retail price of $3,000 per piece.

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