The device, which is essentially a Sony Xperia tablet wrapped in a protective casing, is designed to be used with gloves and can endure the harsh weather conditions in the area. Additionally, the case's round corners eliminate any risk of piercing the protective clothing used by aid workers. As The Telegraph reports, the tablet was designed to solve a very practical problem with recording the vitals of patients afflicted with the disease:
It was designed after a Medecins Sans Frontieres doctor working in the organisation's treatment centre told his colleague in London he was being forced to shout patient details over a fence from inside the protective zone where medics must be fully covered to avoid catching the deadly disease, since even passing a piece of paper to the outside could risk transmitting it.
In order to address the problem, Medecins Sans Frontieres' technology advisor, Ivan Gayton, reached out to Google's Crisis Response team, after which point the company designed the device and has since sent 8 of the tablets for use in Sierra Leone.
While talk of the Ebola crisis may have simmered down here in the U.S. in recent months, it's still a very real problem in several African countries, and this is an interesting look intro how technology can be leveraged to play a minor role in solving even basic problems in treating the disease.
Source: The Telegraph
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