LionsGate Technologies (LGTmedical), a Vancouver-based social enterprise, has secured its first major financial backers to scale up development of the Phone Oximeter™, an app and medical sensor that turns a non-specialist, community-level health worker’s smartphone, tablet computer or laptop into an affordable and simple but sophisticated medical-grade diagnostic tool typically available in the developing world only in some hospitals.
Mr. Irfhan Rajani, CEO of Vancouver-based Coleco Investments, leads a $1 million angel investment in the device, to be matched with a $1 million grant from Grand Challenges Canada — the first such investment under a new $10 million strategic partnership between Grand Challenges Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD).
Developed by scientists Drs. Mark Ansermino, Guy Dumont and Peter von Dadelszen of the University of British Columbia, the device measures blood oxygen levels through a light sensor attached to a person’s fingertip. This technique is known as pulse oximetry.
The Phone Oximeter™, using a predictive score, can accurately identify an estimated 80% of cases 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.
Read full LGT Medical news release.