Healthcare venture startup BBB (CEO, Jae Gyu Choi), which developed world’s first android-based mobile blood diagnostic apparatus “Elemark,” recently signed the partnership with Harvard Medical School to export Elemark to Ghana. Through this partnership, BBB will start selling 200 apparatus in the fourth quarter of 2015, then expanding its sale to 0.1 million apparatus in 2016
Since Internet.org project partnership between Facebook and Airtel in January this year, three million mobile users in Ghana have started using free internet service through drone Aquila. Considering Ghana’s network conditions, BBB will provide mobile blood diagnosis service by connecting Elemark to local free internet provided by Facebook’s drone Aquila.
Elemark will be primarily used to diagnose Malaria in Ghana. From World Malaria Report 2014 from last December by WHO, there were approximately 128 million malaria patients across 18 countries in Sub-saharan Africa. Moreover, 90% of 584,000 total deaths from Malaria occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa as well. In the case of falciparum malaria in Africa, it is critical to receive early diagnosis, given high fatality. Nonetheless, most diagnoses are done through microscopic examination of the tissue that there is no inexpensive and efficient alternative. Consequently, the ease of Elemark’s mobile diagnosis is expected to significantly contribute to the improvement of the diagnosis conditions and lead to early awareness.
BBB plans to teleconsult malaria patients using Elemark in collaboration with Harvard Medical School, University of Ghana Medical School, and Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. BBB also intends to reach out to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa after Ghana. Furthermore, in 2016, the automatic software update will allow diagnosing 20 different diseases, including malaria, to solve the problem of lack of medical facilities and doctors in Africa.
Jae Gyu Choi, CEO of BBB, said, “It really means a lot to actually take part in solving an important issue in Africa using our innovative technology along with Harvard Medical School and Facebook, beyond simply selling our technology. We will provide a mobile healthcare service tailored to the local needs, different from our strategy in the U.S. and in China.”