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Android takes on medical diagnostics

Dec 14, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

A remote medical diagnostics application that integrates a Linux server and an application running on an Android cellphone is heading for a trial in the Philippines. The “Moca” software was developed by an open source project that grew out of an MIT Media Lab class.

(Click for larger view of Moca running on an HTC G1)

Designed to improve medical diagnostic, screening, and therapeutic services in remote under-served areas, Moca is targeted at the many areas of the underdeveloped world where cellular service is available, but trained physicians and hospitals are in short supply.

Moca integrates an Android medical screening app with a Linux server application and the open source OpenMRS medical records database. The Android app is designed to be used by remote nurses and careworkers who work from clinics or mobile vans sent out to remote villages. They can quickly screen patients by filling out forms on an HTC G1 running Android (pictured above), and then upload them along with photo attachments via cellular modem to remote diagnosticians for analysis. Based on their analysis, the specialists send care procedures back to the careworkers, including annotations to the images.

“The idea of Moca is to implement a rapid diagnosis while the patient is still in the clinic,” said project advisor Leo Celi, Research Fellow in Medical Informatics, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology, in an interview.

To address the wide variations in the communications infrastructure of developing nations, and to overcome the limitations of sending image files over shaky, low-bandwidth GPRS connections, Moca is equipped with some innovative technical solutions. These include packetization, synchronization, and multimodal communications. For more on Moca, including an interview with Celi, click below.

Android app offers remote medical diagnostics

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