Royal Philips and Grand Challenges Canada have signed an agreement to help address childhood pneumonia deaths.


The parties will scale up distribution of the Philips Children’s Automated Respiration Monitor, a device developed specifically for use in low-resource settings across the world.

A repayable grant agreement has also been signed to manufacture and supply the Philips Children’s Respiration Monitor (ChARM) for community based health workers.

The CA$602,000 repayable grant, corresponded with Philips, will finance the market launch of ChARM and support the development of the next generation device that is planned to include pulse oximetry.

The ChARM device will enable community health workers to measure a sick child’s breathing rate, helping to improve the diagnosis of pneumonia and prevent around 922,000 childhood deaths caused by pneumonia each year.

Without requiring direct skin contact, the Philips ChARM can be strapped around a child’s chest. It is said to deliver an accurate and reliable breathing rate measurement by converting chest movements detected by accelerometers into an accurate breathing count, using specially developed algorithms.

Philips Africa Innovation Hub head Maarten van Herpen said: "Equitable innovation strategies can help drive sustainable solutions that bridge the divide between the privileged and lesser privileged sections of society, to improve the quality of life for all.

"Thanks to collaborations and co-investments like the one we have signed with Grand Challenges Canada, companies such as Philips can scale innovations that reach an underserved population and thereby integrate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 – ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, into their core business strategies."

Image: Royal Philips and Grand Challenges Canada to supply ChARM device for community based health workers across the globe. Photo: courtesy of Koninklijke Philips N.V.