Smart optical and portable diagnostic system for schistosomiasis saves lives

News - 23 September 2021 - Webredactie 3mE

The tropical disease schistosomiasis or bilharzia, a disease caused by larvae living in surface freshwater, is a serious threat to human and animal health especially in rural endemic areas in Africa. Early detection of the disease can save many lives, but the diagnostic methods are expensive, labour-intensive and poor in quality. Temitope Agbana, a researcher at the Delft Center for Systems and Control, combined technical optics with data-driven algorithm to realise the design of the automated optical diagnostic platform that is now called - The schistoscope. Together with a team of other researchers, they aim to provide a potentially smart technique for the early and easy detection of the disease. Tope and the team were recently awarded the NTD Innovation Prize Award with the sum of $20,000 to further develop their idea.

NWO-Inspired Project

Temitope Agbana worked in the NWO INSPiRED project to develop the schistoscope. He collaborated with researchers Dr. Jan Carel Diehl from the Faculty of Industrial Design, Dr. Lisette van Lieshout from Leiden University Medical Center and three research partners from sub-Saharan Africa. The schistoscope project is part of the NWO INSPiRED (INclusive diagnoStics for Poverty RElated parasitic Diseases in Nigeria and Gabon) project. NWO INSPiRED is a research programme that promotes new smart health diagnostics for sub-Saharan Africa.