By Kenny Mei
Entrepreneurs are great at coming up with creative and innovative ways to solve all kind of problems, big or small. But sometimes getting the word out about new products can be difficult. This is where Indiegogo comes into play, it provides entrepreneurs a platform to launch new and groundbreaking products, help surface innovations in tech, design, and much more, all before they go mainstream. Following their mission to “empower people to unite around ideas that matter to them and together make those ideas come to life.” To this day, Indiegogo has raised more than 1 billion dollars in projects ranging from dance to design, 11 million contributions from the community of backers for over 650 projects and have campaigns that had started from 223 different countries and territories.
There are many different projects that have already launched or are in the works. Some projects include camera gear, audio, energy & green tech, art, dance & theater, music and many more. One particular project that I would like to talk about is the Cardio Pad, a medical tablet used to perform heart examinations created by Arthur Zang. Zang is from Yaoundé, Cameroon, located in Central Africa, where heart problems are responsible for 22% of deaths. In Cameroon, there are fewer than 50 cardiologists for 30 million people, most of the cardiologists reside in cities of Douala and Yaoundé, leaving rural areas with virtually no cardiac care. To tackle this problem, Zang used his engineering skills to invent what was believed to be Africa’s first handheld medical computer tablet.
The Cardio Pad is a touchscreen device that uses wireless networks to expand life-saving care from just a few heart specialists to the millions of people living in remote parts of the country. First, a healthcare worker takes a reading of the patient. Then, the device transmits the information to a national data center. Once the ECG is received, a cardiologist makes a diagnosis and sends it back to the center to be relayed to the healthcare worker treating the patient, along with prescription instructions. This is more efficient and effective because without the device, patients living in rural areas would often have to make long journeys to reach experts, leading to more risks, waste of time, and money. Now, with the device, patients can go to their local healthcare worker nearby and get quality care without making a long trip.
Cardio Pads were provided to small village hospitals which need the device but don’t have the money to pay for it. For example, in Mbankomo, a small village located 25 kilometers from Cameroon’s capital, the Cardio Pad was provided freely to the doctor of the district hospital. He uses this device to perform about 200 heart examinations per mount. This has greatly improved the quality of care in this town because patients no longer need to travel to the capital to perform their cardiac test.
The objective of this campaign is to repeat the experience in five or more other village hospitals in Cameroon. The manufacturing of a complete kit used to perform 12 heart examinations costs about $2000. Zang is hoping to manufacture 5 kits, needing at least a total amount of $10,000.
This campaign was launched roughly 4 years ago, since then, Zang was able to raise $8,805 from 29 backers with the help of Indiegogo.