September 24, 2019

Our Global Birth Defects Research Fellow, Dr Leke Aminkeng, returned from Bratislava, Slovakia last week invigorated.  Why?  Because his presentation about our Birth Defects App was met with great enthusiasm and interest from conference participants.

He travelled to Bratislava for the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research (ICBDSR)’s 46th Annual Meeting (September 8-11, 2019).  While there, Dr Aminkeng shared the App’s features by playing an instructional video that demonstrates the App’s capabilities for identifying external malformations, recording data, and uploading that data to a surveillance system.

Amanda Neville, head of an Italian registry of congenital anomalies and member of EUROCAT, a European network of population-based registries for epidemiological surveillance, praised the App, saying,

“The App is really exciting not only to assist low and middle income countries with the correct identification of visible congenital malformations but also to train hospital staff in Europe in the correct terminology and description. Limb reduction defects, for example, require a complex and detailed description in words but become much simpler with a photo recognition system like the App.”

As Dr Aminkeng, supported by the Steering Committee, continue to move forward with the development and dissemination of the App, the next steps involve testing the Surveillance version of the App in hospitals in Uganda and Paraguay.  This testing includes validating the chosen diagnosis against photos of the actual anomalies collected in the field-testing sites.  The goal is for the Surveillance version of the App to be released next spring.  Meanwhile, the Basic Version of the App, which helps with description and coding without recording data, will be released in October 2019.

If you would like more information about the App, who we are and what we do, explore our website or contact us.  We are always eager to hear from people interested in birth defects surveillance.