Ugandan Entrepreneurs Invent a Smart Jacket to Diagnose Pneumonia

Pneumonia is the world’s number one infectious killer of children under the age of five. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pneumonia is caused by several infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

While most pneumonia deaths occur in children in Sub-Saharan Africa, children and adults in developed countries such as the United States are also impacted by this potentially deadly illness. The American Thoracic Society shares that, “pneumonia is the number one most common reason for U.S. children to be hospitalized. About 1 million adults in the U.S. are hospitalized with pneumonia every year and about 50,000 die from this disease.”

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), explains that, “pneumonia claims the lives of the most vulnerable children and even though most pneumonia deaths are preventable, factors such as poverty, lack of access to adequate healthcare, and misdiagnosis lead to high mortality rates.”

 It was the misdiagnosis and eventual death of a relative, that lead to Olivia Koborongo to partner with inventor Brian Turyabagye to create a biomedical ‘smart jacket’ called Mama Ope (which means hope for mother), to increase the speed and accuracy in diagnosing pneumonia. This jacket measures heart rate, lung condition, and body temperature. It also records and analyzes the medical data collected, then sends this information via Bluetooth to a healthcare provider who can make a proper diagnosis.

This invention is expected to save millions of lives especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Experts warn that Americans should take pneumonia very seriously. Getting prompt medical attention is key to getting immediate treatment to save lives. To discuss your treatment options with a healthcare professional and to schedule an annual physical at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.