view of Tabla prototype (black spherical device) with stethoscope


May 25, 2017 | 12:00 pm

Project team: Chen Bao, Adam Rao, Jorge Ruiz

Course: started in Interactive Device Design, fall 2016

In 2015, pneumonia was the #1 cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide. UNICEF reports a need for a more affordable diagnostic method to reduce the number of deaths, particularly in populations with limited access to medical infrastructure. Tabla, a winner of the 2017 Big Ideas at Berkeley competition, seeks to meet this critical need by providing a low-cost, accurate device that uses sound waves to diagnose pneumonia.

The current clinical gold standard for detecting pneumonia is the chest x-ray, but cost and lack of infrastructure can make this method inaccessible to certain patient populations.  For these populations, percussive physical examinations provide an accessible, convenient, and low-cost alternative for patient diagnosis. In a percussive exam, the physician taps the sternum and specific areas of the back, assessing whether the resulting sound corresponds to that of healthy or abnormal tissue. Tabla, which quantifies and charts these changes in sound, is designed to easily integrate with this common procedure, providing a viable solution for effective diagnosis in resource-constrained hospitals.

Want to learn more about Tabla and its designers? Check out:

Project website

Project poster

Big Ideas pitch day: seeding the future,” Berkeley News

Chen Bao on LinkedIn

Adam Rao on LinkedIn

Jorge Ruiz on LinkedIn

Topics: Health