The second prototype of GlobalDiagnostix’s X-Ray imaging machine, conceived to withstand the extreme weather conditions of southern countries, is about to enter its industrial phase.

The result of five years of research, this ultra-rugged radiology device was conceived by a consortium bringing together six universities, including the Vaud-based University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland (HES-SO) and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), as well as field partners in Africa.

The GlobalDiagnostiX radiology device integrates an array of innovative solutions developed in close partnership with the HES-SO schools, initially destined to withstand climactic variations while offering a simple and intuitive interface without compromising the quality of digital images.

“GlobalDiagnostiX is an ultra-rugged cardiology solution to be used in poor countries”, explains Klaus Schönenberger, director of the EPFL’s EssentialTech program and co-initiator of the project. “This environment is indeed very particular and characterized by four major problems: the lack of financial resources, the lack of trained personnel, infrastructures in poor condition and a warm, humid and dusty climate”. Robust, high-tech and low-cost, this system was designed to withstand the strongest environmental constraints and diminish maintenance requirements.

A reaction to inequality in medical technology

Out of the 20 to 50 million traffic accidents every year throughout the world, 90% of the victims live in low- and middle-income countries, or in emerging or in development countries, where radiology is not available. Today, the GlobalDiagnostiX project brings an answer to this problem. “Beyond the technology itself, an entire value chain was built, meaning how the solution will be manufactured, shipped and maintained, how the on-site staff will be trained or the spare parts replaced”, adds Klaus Schönenberger. The delivery of the first devices is planned for the end of 2020.