Matibabu is a non-invasive diagnostic kit used to detect malaria. It utilises customer-made hardware that is connected to a smartphone to give a malaria diagnosis. Traditional testing requires using needles to draw blood but the Matibabu app uses a light sensor to detect malaria from white blood cells. If the light intensity is not affected, the result is negative, if the light intensity is affected, it’s a positive result and the app sends an alert to the patient and their doctor.

How they’re disrupting

The founders hope to create an Africa that is malaria-free and accurate diagnosis is the most important step in doing this because it prevents people from seeking wrong treatment. Even though the app is still in development, the hope is that this fast, effective tool will have a massive impact, especially in saving the lives of expectant mothers and young children. The app also collects data, analysing the results based on location, sex, age and infection status.

Disruption potential

In 2016, the global tally of malaria reached 212 million cases, resulting in 429,000 deaths. Children are especially vulnerable, accounting for more than two thirds of global malaria deaths. Increasingly, diagnostic kits are being made available at public health facilities across Africa.

Investments and future

Matibabu has raised a total of $100,000 from the Resilient Africa Network, Merck Accelerator and UN Women through Microsoft Imagine. Matibabu is still in early stages of development with a pilot due in Uganda this year.