TechInAfrica – Wulira app is developed in Uganda to help patients with hearing loss. The Android mobile application works with a system of pure tone audiometer. It produces sound with frequencies ranging from 125Hz to 8000Hz and amplitudes ranging from zero up to 100 decibels.
Wulira app was developed by four Ugandans who are Makerere University graduates. They launched the app on Google Play Store and can be downloaded for free.
According to one of the Wulira app’s developers, Mumbere Joab, when users play a sound via Wulira app, hearing-impaired patients will notify whether or not they hear the sound. Furthermore, when the hearing assessment with Wulira app is done, it can be shared with an audiologist.
Josephine Likichoru, a senior audiologist at the Kampala audiology and speech center, said: ‘‘Everyone has a phone. Almost all the doctors have smartphones. So you can test the patient wherever you are, and the good thing with Wulira is that you can be able to send the results to the audiologist to interpret for you or to advise you, remotely, you don’t have to be where the patient is. So that’s the good thing with Wulira. It’s going to be able to help us to assess patients far away and we are able to advise and give treatment, even remotely.”
Likichoru moreover said that Wulira app is currently still under clinical validation to see whether or not it’s functioning on hearing-impaired patients.
‘‘So we are testing patients using another machine, and then Wulira and then we compare the results. So, for now, health centers are not using Wulira. There are just a few E.N.T doctors who are validating it, trying it out in their clinics.’‘
Dr. Charles Batte, Founder of Wulira app explained about his motivation about the invention of the app.
‘‘During my Masters’ degree training in public health, I worked extensively with patients with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis at Mulago hospital. And for patients that have taken these drugs that cause hearing loss, the World Health Organization requires that they have monitoring done every month to assess their hearing ability.
“To do this you require a pure tone audiometer machine, you require an audiologist, you require a soundproof room. And one of the problems that our program has is the inability to have all these services across the country. So we came up with the idea of developing a mobile phone application that can bring this service closer to the people; to the last mile that do not have access to hospitals like Mulago where they can have hearing testing done on a monthly basis.’‘
Currently, Wulira app is only compatible with android mobile phones. However, the developers said that for the next development, it will be adaptable to other devices as well.
For your information, Wulira app was selected as one of the successful innovation in the health sector. Moreover, it was also selected among the top ten tech innovations.