Appropriate Technology

Hypertension Screening Device

Hypertension is a growing burden to people in the developing world. This project seeks to create a simple device that can be used by minimally trained healthcare workers to screen large populations for hypertension. This is accomplished through the comparison of the patient’s systolic pressure to a target pressure. If the patient has systolic pressure below this target pressure, the patient is said to have a healthy blood pressure, while if above this target pressure the patient is then a candidate for further screening for hypertension. With the application of this device in rural clinics in low-resource areas, this device could save millions of lives.


Endoscope handleGlobally, head and neck cancers are the 6th most common form of cancer, yet are often overlooked in the developing world. These cancers are not only associated with excessive tobacco and alcohol use, but also with human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, all three of which are health concerns in resource-poor countries. Imaging the upper respiratory tract using a nasal endoscopic camera is the main means for early detection; the camera is inserted into the nose and carefully maneuvered down towards the trachea.

In the developed world endoscopic devices for detection of head and neck cancers can cost as much as $10,000 and often require to be plugged in to a mains source for power.The goal for this project is to provide a low-cost, portable endoscope that can display video and create images to be used to diagnosis head and neck cancers. The endoscopic boom includes a light source, a camera, and a flexion mechanism to allow for easy navigation down the back of a patient’s throat. 

This project is still in the prototyping phase with a pilot planned in Vietnam for late summer 2014. If you have any questions please contact Alex Dahinten.

Past Projects

The DHT Lab has many products that are currently sold or distributed to resource-poor hospitals in the developing world, including a colposcope, a phototherapy device and several medical device testing kits. These companies and products have had an enormous impact. Over 35,000 children have access to phototherapy to treat infant jaundice because of the BlueRay Phototherapy Device alone. We are also working on exciting new designs like a device that prevents the transmission of HIV from mother to child and a hypertension screening device.