Global Health Device Innovation

2020 ~ Present


This project will end in Spring 2023


To address the unique clinical needs of resource-limited environments through the development of equipment and apps that support (and can be maintained by) local hospitals. A key design constraint will be the use of equipment and technologies that can be maintained and repaired by the hospitals that use them. This includes using locally sourced equipment and developing apps that can run on locally available smart phones and devices (Android). 


Issues Involved or Addressed

Digital Pathology

Anatomic pathology is the cornerstone of accurate oncologic diagnosis, the essential first step in providing appropriate cancer treatment.  However, there is a global shortage in access to pathology and laboratory medicine.  A survey of pathology capacity demonstrated that only one pathologist is available per one million people in sub-Saharan Africa1 with similar critical shortages in Asia and Latin America.   Emory physicians have witnessed this crisis first-hand in Pignon, Haiti, where patients can wait over three months for specimens to travel to the U.S. for processing and analysis.  

In combination with whole-slide imaging and machine-learning algorithms, telepathology has been heralded as the next new source of “big data” for medical research and clinical decision-making. Telepathology and digital imaging are rapidly evolving have already improved access to pathologists in high-income countries.  Whole-slide imaging, the creation and viewing of digital images of the entire area of a glass histology slide, can facilitate access to pathologists for more rapid diagnosis, but such scanners can cost up to $300,000.   We propose to investigate the use of smartphone-based digital imaging combined with cloud-based pathologic analysis as an alternative to address the critical pathology shortage globally.  The project is in collaboration with a team of Emory physicians and an Atlanta-based start up. 

Methods and Technologies

  • Medical device design
  • Product development
  • App development
  • Circuits
  • MacGyver engineering
  • Regulatory landscape
  • Transfer to manufacturing package
  • Experience in clinical studies

Academic Majors of Interest

  • ComputingComputer Science
  • EngineeringBiomedical Engineering
  • EngineeringChemical Engineering
  • EngineeringElectrical Engineering
  • Other
  • SciencesChemistry

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Background/interest in medical device design, product development, and engineeering for global health needs is desired. 

Please indicate your subteam preference in the commment section of your application (fetal heart monitor, NICU incubator, general surgery, or any)

Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
Whitaker, Room 0260, BME Capstone Design Lab
Meeting Day 

Team Advisors

James Stubbs
  • Biomedical Engineering
Kelsey Kubelick
  • Biomedical Engineering