Background: Like in many other developing countries, Rwanda's medical needs outgrew its
medical resources. Rural areas are the most commonly found with a huge burden of diseases, yet with
low resources, including a limited number of skilled medical workers and lack of infrastructure. Community
Healthcare workers (CHWs) had been introduced to supplement the health care system, but they
need more support to be able to function efficiently.
Methods: We have developed and tested an affordable remote diagnosing system, based on an Arduino
micro-controller connected to various health care sensors, to assist CHWs in rural areas of Rwanda. The
system can collect and display the vital signs of a patient through an Android application and transmit
the data via mobile wireless technologies. We have used open—source frameworks, to make the system
widely available for adoption and further development.
Results: We have tested a prototype of our system in Rwanda. We have verified that the system can be
used by CHWs to obtain a limited number of vital signs from rural patients, that could be used to generate
alerts and deliver healthcare-related educational content.
Conclusion: We believe that our system is capable to assist CHWs in better decision making, and has
the potential to contribute to the improvement of the health care system in rural Rwanda.