This young twin duo is behind an award-winning innovation for medical care.
South African sisters Matlhogonolo and Masego Mphahlele brainstormed an idea together after witnessing a soccer injury in 2019.
Their teammate required an emergency X-ray, and they were by their side in the hospital. The wait for their friend to be seen sparked the vision for their “Digital X-ray Glasses,” News 24 reports.
“While we were there, we had an idea. We wanted to create a device on the spot,” Matlhogonolo said, according to the outlet.
Within four years of development, the sisters — who attend the University of Johannesburg — worked alongside other students to create the prototype of the Digital X-ray glasses.
The Mphahleles goal for the glasses is to serve as a quicker and more portable version of a traditional “X-ray” device, which would help patients not have to fall victim to long wait times and crowded hospitals and clinics.
The Digital X-ray glasses were created using 3D printing and work through its infrared camera and a mini-computer chip that sends thermal images to a mobile device.
“The camera can only take infrared images to a mobile device. We want to do more research to better our idea,” Matlhogonolo said. “In the future, we want the product to be able to work without using radiation… and to be able to distribute it to different local hospitals and clinics.”
In 2022, the Mphahleles presented their glasses at the Red Bull Basement Global Final in Istanbul, Turkey.
The sisters were among representatives from 43 countries who pitched their ideas to the competition’s judges. They came in third place.
In the near future, the Mphahleles hope to give hospitals access to their tech-backed glasses to help decrease the time for patients to be scanned after injuries.
“This idea could not only help the medical profession but also save lives,” they told Red Bull.