The Philips CHARM (children's automatic respiratory monitor) is specifically designed to allow community health workers to detect pneumonia in low resource areas. The lightweight measuring device sits on a child's or infant's chest, secured by a strap, and measures respiration rate (fast breathing) through an ingenious algorithm.
The device lights up GREEN when the (age-adjusted) breathing rate is BELOW the WHO threshold and RED when the breathing rate is ABOVE the threshold. Pictographs make the device easy to use for non-literate health workers.
Philips has developed this affordable respiration monitor that automatically and accurately measures the breath rate of a child under the age of 5 in response to a call for innovation from UNICEF. Because pneumonia is the leading killer of children, offering a way for community health workers to accurately diagnose pneumonia is essential.
The device is power independent and robust so
it withstands and can operate in harsh conditions. Its clinical decision support functionality provides instant feedback, to support the care provider in determining a correct diagnosis, clearly indicating the risk of a fast-breathing rate of the child, based on the WHO IMCI guidelines.
Here is a video on the use of the CHARM device:
There are two versions of the CHARM. One non-rechargeable battery is less expensive and meant for community health workers. The second version CHARM 2 has a rechargeable battery. The long-lasting battery makes both version power independent, suitable for areas without electricity. The device is dustproof, water-splashing proof and can be used in extreme temperatures. It is small and easily portable for use in community and clinical settings. The user interface is pictogram-based, designed to be intuitive and easy to use, suitable for providers with low literacy.
The CHARM device (CHW version) is low cost, rugged and clinically tested, first of its kind single diagnostic device for pneumonia. A study by Save the Children in Kenya found that the CHARM device was at least as accurate as a physician in counting infant/child respiratory rate. Put another way, the CHARM puts physician-level diagnosis closer to the community, meaning that children can be diagnosed more effectively. This is one way to avoid overprescription of antibiotics and misdiagnosis of pneumonia, a leading killer of children around the world.
Please note again that there are two versions of the CHARM; one model of the CHARM device is for community health workers and a second model of the CHARM is rechargeable and slightly more expensive.
The CHARM is not for use within the United States.