Arthur Zang, a renowned Cameroonian computer engineer who invented the famous Cardiopad medical tablet, for which he won many international prizes for innovation, has come up with yet another piece of innovation to help his country’s authorities in their fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Nearly 400 persons have died in Cameroon due to COVID-19, mostly from respiratory complications, according to the country’s Public Health Ministry.

The 32-year-old enterprising engineer who studied at Cameroon’s National School of Engineering in the capital, Yaounde, has created what he calls Oxynnet – an interconnected system that can produce medical oxygen locally either using electrical or solar energy, with control from an Android device connected to the Internet.

Himore Medical, the company created by Arthur Zang to market his innovations, unveiled the invention on 6 July 2020. Oxynnet is an acronym for Oxygen National Network.

Oxynnet production equipment to be installed in hospitals in Cameroon for the production of medical oxygen.

“After a long and exciting period of hard work, Himore Medical is proud to officially release its brand new product for the fight against respiratory diseases including Covid-19,” Zang said in a statement on 6 July 2020 which was also posted on his official Facebook page.

“The Oxynnet is a system composed of connected medical oxygen production stations, designed and manufactured in Cameroon by our teams, to whom I say a special thank you.”

How Oxynnet works

According to officials of Himore Medical, Oxynnet is born out of several months of research and trials. It’s a system with three key features, namely oxygen production, storage and distribution, and remote controlling. Once installed, one production station can supply oxygen to 10 patients simultaneously without any interruption. It is affordable, they say.

“Thanks to an Android application, it is possible to control the station from your mobile phone. The application is easy to use and allows you to connect or disconnect one or more patients, adjust the station’s oxygen flow rate, and observe the parameters of patients connected to the network. This remote control can be done through a Wifi network or the GSM network,” said Himore Medical in a statement.

“Respiratory diseases are affecting a large number of persons in Africa. Among these diseases, we can cite Asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other infections that attack the respiratory system. In 2020, there has been a sharp increase in the number of persons dying from respiratory-related issues especially with the coming of COVID-19. One of the most essential items administered to these patients is oxygen. But the situation in Cameroon and other countries is quite difficult. It is the motivation to solve this problem that we have developed this system which will enable hospitals to produce medical oxygen…” the company explained.

Zang, the head of the team behind the innovation says they have already received an order from Cameroon’s Public Health Ministry for the supply of the oxygen production stations to be installed in public hospitals across the country.  Zang says they are also working fervently to ensure that the system, which has already won the United Nations Development Program prize for innovative solutions in the fight against COVID-19 in Cameroon, is made available to other countries on the continent and the world at large.

Before Oxynnet, Zang and his inventive team have been at work

Oxynnet is the third major invention by Zang and his team which is making waves. After Zang invented a screen touch medical tablet used for medical heart examinations a couple of years ago, he later came up with ZCard, a card used for electronic payment operations.

The most remarkable of his inventions however remains the Cardiopad tablet, which is assembled is Cameroon and has since been on sale in many parts of the world. In 2016, he won the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation by the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering, worth $37,000. This is one of many awards he has bagged for his inventive strides in a country that gives very little support to innovators.

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