If you are a health worker in Sierra Leone, then most days are not going to be good ones. The Ebola epidemic is still very much a grave situation. The disease has already claimed approximately 10,000 lives globally and it is looking as though the crisis is not going to get better anytime soon. The fight against this terrible virus has pricked the attention of many in the tech world, and these ones are looking at different ways to try and help the situation. One such company is Google. According to the Telegraph, Google researchers have stepped up their game in the battle with an Ebola-proof tablet.
The device is based around a Sony Xperia tablet, but the difference is that it is covered with an extra protective casing.
The tablet can be used with gloves, and it can being soaked in chlorine, which is used as a disinfectant. The tablet can also withstand the high humidity and storms which are native weather patterns that occur often in West Africa. These protections can allow the tablet to be used by health workers to record and share patient information and records over longer periods of time. The initial idea for an Ebola-proof tablet came from a medical professional that worked for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).
The doctor had to resort to shouting patient details from the protective zone where nothing is allowed to leave to stem the spread of infection to other areas. Within a protective zone, medical staff must be fully covered in order to avoid being infected with Ebola. The risk of the disease is so high that even passing a piece of paper with patient data on it, potentially could transmit the disease.
MSF technology adviser Ivan Gayton said,”It was error prone, exhausting and it wasted five or 10 minutes of the hour medics can spend fully dressed inside the protective zone before they collapse from heat exhaustion.” It was Gayton who reached out to a member of Google’s Crisis Response Team. They, in turn, dispatched five engineers to work on designing the Ebola-proof tablet.
Currently, eight of these tablets are being used by MSF medical personnel in Sierra Leone
[Image via ripost]
SOURCE: Digital Trends