The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF), has selected 20 winners of its Innovation Showcases competition, from 11 different countries, to present their work at the upcoming WISH 2018 summit, to be held in Doha on November 13-14.
The Innovation Showcases initiative provides a platform for aspiring healthcare leaders to exhibit and demonstrate their healthcare-related innovations in the presence of around 2,000 global health experts and policymakers at WISH’s biennial summits, which have quickly become established as a major highlight of the global healthcare calendar and a key platform for the dissemination of healthcare innovation and best practices.
This year, the submitted projects ranged from practical devices and business models to design-based solutions, all aimed at creating cost-effective and accessible healthcare for global populations. Among the winners whose projects will be displayed in the WISH Innovation Hub at WISH 2018 is Mohammed Al Jefairi – a Qatari innovator and 4th place winner in season nine of QF’s Stars of Science, the Arab world’s leading scientific ‘edutainment’ TV show – whose company Abilitx has developed the SeeDo robot, designed to communicate with hearing-impaired children to improve their vocabulary through sign language, stories, and play.
“The most important learning stage for children is the first few years of their lives, when they acquire important vocabulary,” said Al Jefairi. “Research shows that children at the age of six years have almost 1,000 words in their vocabulary while, unfortunately, hearing-impaired children only have 50 words.
“The SeeDo robot will help solve this problem, bringing about a remarkable change in early intervention for hearing-impaired children.”
Other innovations to be showcased include ‘Proximie’, an augmented reality platform from the UK that allows doctors to virtually transport themselves into any operating room anywhere in the world; the Crispvision Eye Test Kit, a sight-saving kit from Nigeria used to detect eye defects, correct far-sightedness and monitor debilitating eye diseases such as cataracts, onchocerciasis, and trachoma; and ‘Tilapia Skin Burn Bandage’, a low-cost and efficient process from Brazil that uses sterilized fish skin to treat patients with second- and third-degree burns.
Commenting on this year’s winning Innovation Showcases projects, Sultana Afdhal, CEO, WISH, said: “At WISH, we recognize that innovation in healthcare can take many forms, from utilizing mobile technology to making mental healthcare accessible and affordable for youth and adults everywhere, to providing simple and effective eye test kits for those at risk in developing countries.
“This year’s winners provide a great insight into how innovative thinking is being used around the world to tackle a diverse range of healthcare challenges.”
WISH 2018 will feature nine panel discussions, based on evidence-based research, that highlight and address some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges, including Anxiety and Depression; Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI); Design in Health; Healthcare in Conflict Zones; Eye Health; Islamic Ethics and Palliative Care; Nursing and Universal Health Coverage; The Role of the Private Sector in Healthcare; and Viral Hepatitis.
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