Last Friday, Minister of Development Cooperation of Belgium, Meryame Kitir, handed over the iStandout award to Steven Serneels, chairman of Iristick and initiator of Iristick’s Social in Motion program. The project ‘Smart glasses for Telehealth’ was the most successful story in the iStandout category. The D4D prize rewards every 2 years outstanding initiatives that use digitisation and (new) technologies as a lever for development. The prize wants to stimulate 3 strategic priorities of Belgian development cooperation:

  • Better use of (big) data
  • Digital for inclusive societies
  • Digital for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
M. Kitir, Minister of Development Cooperation Belgium
M. Kitir, Minister of Development Cooperation Belgium

This project uses connected smart glasses to improve access to quality healthcare for the population of Kingandu, a rural area in Kwilu, Democratic Republic of Congo.

With the built-in camera and zoom lens, display, microphones and a speaker, a remote expert (doctor in this case) sees exactly what the wearer sees (nurse in rural health care facility). The advantage of this tool compared to other telemedicine tools such as telephones or tablets is that the health care provider at the health centre has both hands free during the consultation. Health care providers can therefore show the doctor in the district hospital exactly what they see, can talk and listen in real-time to the instructions without losing the use of their hands and interrupting their activity. The use cases are planned consultation, unplanned consultation (including emergencies), skills training and interpretation of rapid tests. In the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the need for quality telemedicine with appropriate infrastructure has become even more important.

For this project, Iristick works together with Memisa (Felipe Sere and Clemente Sabba), the Institute of Tropical Medicine (Prof. Wim Van Damme), Dr. Alain Mugoto, Director of the Kingandu Health Zone Management Team) and Dr. Jules Diaka, the local projectleader.

Steven Serneels receiving the D4D award
Steven Serneels receiving the D4D award

For the press release about the D4D prize (Dutch), click here

For more detailed information on the results and progress of this project, click here.

Watch the full video of the event here.

Published on Oct 21, 2020