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Early diagnosis device for neonatal sepsis

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This Global Health Medical Device is designed for or implemented within resource-limited settings - Browse the devices - Add a device

Sepsis device.png
Health Topic Child mortality
Classification Diagnosis
Scope Prototype
Location Africa, Asia, North America, South America

Problem being addressed

Sepsis arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. In low-resource settings, it accounts for 60-80% of all deaths. Due to underspecified symptoms, subtle symptoms, and rapid deterioration of tissue, sepsis is often diagnosed too late, and therefore treated too late.

Detailed description of the solution

This portable, non-perishable device uses fluorescence to rapidly detect a key early biomarker for sepsis, procalcitonin (PCT). Its sensors will be cheap and it will be easy to use by health care workers and parents at home. Because sepsis mortality is related to the time of diagnosis, the device will be able to detect sepsis early enough to distinguish it from ordinary bacterial infections, thus allowing for treatment, accordingly.

Designed by

  • Designed by: Lucerna, Inc, lead by Karen Wu
  • Manufacturer (if different):
  • Manufacturer location: New York, NY USA

When and where it was tested/implemented

Funding Source

Recipient of Grand Challenges Grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Peer-reviewed publication

Other internally generated reports

Externally generated reports

Saving Lives At Birth. (2011). Simple diagnositc device for early detection of neonatal sepsis. Retrieved December 1, 2013 from here.

Early sepsis diagnosis. Retrieved December 1, 2013 from here.

IP and copyright

Approval by regulatory bodies or standards boards

Africa +, Asia +, North America +  and South America +
Child mortality +