PANDA (Pregnancy and Newborn Diagnostic Assessment)
Bringing together prevention, screening and diagnostic services to provide high quality, inclusive pre- and post-natal care to the most remote and vulnerable communities
Project start date : 07/01/2014
Beneficiary country : Italy Madagascar Burkina Faso Tanzania, United Republic of
About the project
PANDA (Pregnancy and Newborn Diagnostic Assessment) is an innovative, low-cost and high quality telemedicine system developed to tackle the issues affecting ANC and PNC visits in low-resource settings.
The PANDA system comprises three elements:
A solar backpack containing diagnostic platform called ‘PANDA Point of Care, for the screening of those conditions that can compromise the health of the mother and the unborn child. The backpack contains all the instruments needed to measure height, weight, body temperature, blood pressure, and to perform rapid tests for the diagnosis of syphilis, HIV, malaria, anaemia, gestational diabetes, urinary tract infections, blood group. The measurements and the screening results are sent via NFC or Bluetooth to the smartphone application.
An icon-based smartphone app compatible with Android devices which enables health personnel to collect patient information including medical and obstetric history, in addition to supporting the clinical screening process and providing a guide for dispensing health education as appropriate. An alert system informs the healthcare worker whenever pathological values occur during screening. At the end of the visit all data and test results are sent automatically to the database hosted within the referral hospital.
A database, called ‘PANDA Medical Unit’, located in the referral hospital which captures the data and results collected at community level and enables the hospital team to open a clinical chart for each woman visited, to perform diagnosis, to define the frequency of follow-up and to map the pregnancies by area, time and risk.
The importance of Antenatal Care (ANC) and Postnatal Care (PNC) for improving maternal and neonatal health is generally accepted, with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommending a total of 8 ANC contacts and 4 PNC visits. However, ANC/PNC can only be impactful when standardized and of high quality. Experience has demonstrated repeatedly that maintaining the quality of ANC remains particularly challenging in resource-poor settings where low-skilled workers are often charged with the task, and little is known regarding best strategies for improving the quality of care in such environments. The WHO has therefore recommended the use of mHealth systems (telemedicine systems based on mobile technology), as they allow access to essential services to ensure the health of mothers and new-borns. Notably, studies in Africa and Asia have demonstrated that mHealth applications are acceptable and feasible for allowing low-skilled health workers to adhere to treatment protocols and health services guidelines
PANDA (Pregnancy and Newborn Diagnostic Assessment) creates a system that enables doctors, midwives and community health workers to work together across traditional boundaries to provide antenatal care to vulnerable populations and to help prevent both maternal and newborn health problems and mortality.
15 Full-Time equivalents
N/C Service providers
Number of beneficiaries since launch