Tipping the Scales in the Fight against Malaria


Fast diagnosis is a key advantage in the battle against malaria. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost half of the world’s population was at risk of malaria in 2015. The tropical disease claimed 429,000 human lives that year – two-thirds of them children under the age of five. Conventional diagnosis is time-consuming, complicated, and expensive. But now two Siemens Healthineers employees have invented a method for quickly detecting the life-threatening disease. The method uses the Siemens ADVIA® 2120i hematology system to run automated malaria tests as part of a full blood panel. The major advantage is that it achieves a high throughput at a lower cost than other procedures, such as microscopic examination. This led the European Patent Office to select Dutch product manager Jan van den Boogaart and Austrian researcher Professor Oliver Hayden as winners for the 2017 European Inventor Award.

Malaria affects various parameters measured as part of a complete blood count (CBC) test. For example, it lowers the number of blood platelets. However, many of the signs can also be indicative of other diseases, so the challenge was to find values that were linked to malaria only.

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The statements by Siemens’ customers described herein are based on results that were achieved in the customer's unique setting. Since there is no "typical" hospital and many variables exist (e.g., hospital size, case mix, level of IT adoption) there can be no guarantee that other customers will achieve the same results.