The 3D camera that is being built by the Facial Morphology Research Group at the University of Pretoria to detect Down Syndrome in newborns, has been fully funded.

Back in January the research group started a crowd funding campaign to fund the development of a 3D camera which would be able to scan an infant’s face and detect genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome.

Early detection of genetic disorders is vital as a child with Down Syndrome may have heart problems that are only detected much later on when an operation can be extremely risky.

By mapping the faces of healthy and unhealthy newborns, the Facial Morphology Research Group hopes that the 3D camera can be used to save countless lives.

At time of writing, with one day of funding left, the research group has surpassed its target of £2,750 by £3, but it looks like the team won’t need to buy its own cameras for the build.

Canon will be giving the team ten EOS 1200D cameras to use as part of the project. These cameras will take the images that will then be strung together to form the scans. The machine will then use as a reference point to scan newborns for birth defects or genetic disorders.

Canon has donated ten of these cameras to the research group.
Canon has donated ten of these cameras to the research group.

Speaking of the project to, Dr. Vinet Coetzee, who heads up the research team, said, “We are extremely thankful for Canon’s generous contribution. Their contribution made a big impact on our crowdfunding campaign, which I am happy to say, was recently 100% funded.”

Now that the camera’s are taken care of, the group needs to purchase the software that will be used in conjunction with the camera and begin training doctors, nurses, midwives and other medical professionals. This should be spurred on by the fact that the team no longer needs to buy the cameras it needs.

Congratulations to Dr. Coetzee and the team at the Facial Morphology Research Group.

[Image – CC BY/2.0 Mehmet Pinarci]