Opportunity AreaHow might we improve demand and access to essential maternal health medicines & supplies in Uganda??
The proposed title of your ideaUriSAF Sexual Reproductive Health Kit
Please describe your idea.An automated diagnostic tool kit to enhance urine tests by diagnosing urine constituents for anomalies pointing to specific illnesses.
What problem does your idea solve in the market?Urine tests are among the highly recommended tests during Antenatal Care visits, but due to understaffed health facilities in Uganda and Africa at large especially in the rural settings, delays in receiving test results are held responsible for mothers overlooking and deserting such tests. Current practices involve using chemical based reactions like non-biodegradable colored dip sticks which are observed by human eyes. This is to be addressed if we are to achieve the targets of the Third Sustainable Development Goal, “Ensure healthy living and promote well-being for all at all ages”.
Briefly explain how you identified the need or opportunityDuring October Last Year in Katosi village Mukono district, a team member lost a close expectant relative. Medical tests done at Kawolo hospital (a government owned hospital) observed that she had a bacterial infection that could have been detected at an earlier stage had she done a urine test as recommended for antenatal visits. During a visit to Rubaga hospital, out of the 100 urine samples collected in a day, the technical team were able to execute tests of only 30 samples using the biochemical dip sticks which are there after burnt. The Rubaga case brings it out that the 30 samples for such a hospital is very low and inefficient worse still in a rural settings.
Who are the beneficiaries of your solution and how will they benefit?Our solution cuts across but mainly targeting health centers that still use the persistent organic pollutants like dip sticks for urine tests. They will be in position to ably carry out numerous timely tests with urine as the only waste which is biodegradable.
Why are you convinced your solution will solve the problem?UriSAF is a simple sensor based diagnostic tool, so health facilities will be in position to ably carry out several timely tests without having patients wait in long queues. The tool is also reusable causing no pollution since no chemicals are released to the environment with reduced errors.
What other initiatives like yours exist out there? How will you differentiate your solution?Many health related products have been invented in Africa and some include: BVKit for bacterial vaginosis, Wekebere and GiftedMom, many of these are just informative and focus on expectant mothers only. Besides the mobile application for general health and fetal development information, UriSAF is automated and can do several sample tests in a short time providing an outreach for both genders. Future developments are expected to diagnose prostate cancer which is the largest killer of men around the globe.
What have you done up-to date to test your idea with potential users? What learnings do you have to share?We had a field test at Rubaga Hospital and out of the 10 parameters for a complete urinalysis, we were in position to bench mark 3 parameters against existing clinical lab testing methods as the basis. Recording 85.6% pH accuracy, 56% glucose level accuracy and Specific gravity to an accuracy of 86%, we will have to include the other 7 parameters to complete the urinalysis. Potential users strongly advised us to keep focused on urine as our primary test with hopes that we will also be in position to do prostate cancer diagnosis in males.
How will you financially sustain your business?The UriSAF kit will go out at a cost of $55, and it’s these sales that will be our main source of revenue. We also hope to partner with organizations like the Ministry of Health, USAID, WHO, and different Rotary Clubs through their health campaigns. In addition, we are in partnership with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) with whom we were double winners (Health category and Overall) of the Intellectual Property awards 2017. Their validation of our patent for UriSAF will increase the viability of this product.
Please share a link to a 3 minute online video that best describes your idea and teamhttps://youtu.be/XKQWGwDHeM8
Please tell us about each founder and their roles on the team. How do you know your founders and how long have you worked together?Alvin Kabwama Leonard- Team Leader and Hardware Developer, An electrical engineer with 5 years’ experience in sensor development and instrumentation and robotics. Has great leadership skills and former team leader ilabs@mak project at Makerere University. Stephen Kalyesubula- Lead of Researcher, He is a computer engineer with over 4 years’ experience in embedded systems design, machine intelligence, with a passion in research, former head of robotics at ilabs@mak project. Raymond Paul Kiyegga- Circuit and 3D Model Designer, Holds an honors degree in Electrical engineering from Makerere University with over 3 years’ experience in 3D modeling and circuit design, former systems administrator ilabs@mak project. Fred Byakuyamba- Software Engineer, Holds an honors degree in Software engineering from Makerere University. He is responsible for creating design models, app development as well as spear heading the interfacing with the hardware module, Former developer at iLabs@mak project.
Please tell us about other team members that are not cofounders.Lornah Lynn Tumuhairwe: Business Analyst, a Web programmer and PR, She bridges the the team with the prospective consumers of the product to get reviews and upgrades. She is also the current Team Leader at iLabs@MAK project.
Which members of your team will attend the program full-time?Alvin Kabwama Leonard, Stephen Kalyesubula, Raymond Paul Kiyegga, Fred Byakuyamba