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Smartphone app reads blood oxygen levels to hospital standards, advances to global obstetrics tests

es of pregnant women at risk of life-threatening complications due to high blood pressure. The condition, pre-eclampsia, is one of three leading causes of maternal mortality. Each year, about 76,000 of an estimated 10 million pregnant women worldwide who develop pre-eclampsia die from it and related complications.

The number of fetus and infant deaths due to these disorders is estimated at more than 500,000. "That equates to over 1,600 deaths of pregnant young women and babies every day - an unacceptable burden - and more than 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries - an issue of social justice," said Dr. von Dadelszen.

The Phone Oximeter can also reveal dangerously low oxygen levels in patients with pneumonia, which kills more than 1 million children annually.

The $40 target price will make it 80% less costly than any other device capable today of meeting high-level medical standards.

Tests to fine-tune the device will involve monitoring blood-oxygen levels of athletes in training, allowing developers to fast-track its preliminary use. Longer term medical trials of the mobile application and its pre-eclampsia predictive capability will involve 80,000 women in four countries: India, Pakistan, Mozambique and Nigeria.

"This is a critical step in achieving our goal of having a pulse oximeter in every home," said Dr. Mark Ansermino. Dr. Guy Dumont adds: "Through innovative engineering, we have been able to tap into the computing power of smartphones to produce medical-grade, low-cost monitoring systems amenable to widespread usage in low- and medium-resource countries."

"Not only will the Phone Oximeter address a critical global health need, LGTmedical will create jobs and economic opportunities in Canada and elsewhere," said Mr. Rajani. "As an impact-oriented investor, this is a win-win situation. I commend the Government of Canada, through Grand Challenges Canada, for creating this impact invest

Contact: Terry Collins

Lode Roels
Grand Challenges Canada

Tom Walker


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