Inventor of Africa’s first medical tablet wins international award


Arthur Zang, an IT engineer from Cameroon, is one of five Rolex Award young laureates that will receive funding for an innovative invention that has the potential to change the world.

Zang was announced as a winner at a ceremony at the Royal Society scientific institution in London this week. Zang, along with the four other recipients, will receive 50,000 Swiss Francs (around R 593 000) to advance his project and will also gain access to the Rolex Awards family of former laureates and jury members for future advice and guidance.

Zang’s touchscreen Cardio Pad medical tablet was designed to help healthcare workers in rural Cameroon send the results of cardiac tests (via a mobile-phone connection) to doctors in nearby cities where most of the country’s heart specialists are based.

The Cardio Pad is made up of four wireless electrodes and a sensor that are attached to a patient and transmit signals via Bluetooth to the Cardio Pad. The kit then takes a digitised electrocardiogram (ECG) reading of the patient’s heart function which is then transmitted to a national data centre. Once the ECG is received, a cardiologist makes a diagnosis and sends information back to the centre, along with prescription instructions.

Zang sells the Cardio Pad through his company called Himore Medical for around R20 000, which is significantly cheaper than the more expensive and complicated medical equipment currently available.