In resource-limited countries, healthcare facilities often lack systems that enable healthcare workers to judge the severity of illness, especially within emergency departments. The resulting delays in treatment disproportionately affect young children under five with severe infections, particularly if these infections lead to sepsis – the number one cause of death in this age group. Smart Triage is a digital platform that makes it easier for frontline healthcare workers with limited training to identify critically ill children, ensuring they receive timely and appropriate care.
In 2017, we were awarded $250,000 as a finalist in the Google.org Impact Challenge, allowing us to develop the first iteration of Smart Triage – PocketDoc for Pneumonia. The platform was deployed in Uganda in 2018, with partner health facility Holy Innocents Children's Hospital (HICH). This first iteration assists hospital staff in identifying critically ill children more quickly and facilitates faster treatment times.
In 2019-2020 we secured a grant through Wellcome Trust UK, with partner researchers in Uganda and Kenya to engage in the next phase of Smart Triage – validating the point-of-care Paediatric Rapid Sepsis Trigger (PRST) tool. Like PocketDoc for Pneumonia, the PRST allows frontline healthcare workers to rapidly identify vulnerable children, reducing the time to diagnosis and prompt timely initiation of life-saving treatment. Our tool will be implemented at three sites in Kenya and Uganda, with partners from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Walimu, and Jinja Regional Referral Hospital (JRRH).
With the support of Grand Challenges Canada, we have now expanded Smart Triage to 4 additional hospitals across Uganda: Gulu Regionnal Referral Hospital, St Joseph's Kitovu Hospital, Uganda Martyr's Ibanda Hospital, and Kisiizi Hospital, along with the continued implementation at HICH and JRRH.
To learn more about Smart Triage and how we are improving the quality of care for children suffering from the leading cause of death worldwide visit the project website.