Season 11 Innovators

Profile of

Abderrahmane Khiat

Product
Diagnostic Tool to Predict Snake Type from Bite and Victim’s Vital Signs
Country
Algeria

 

About

Abderrahmane grew up surrounded by science, encouraged by his parents to nurture his natural curiosity and understand the world around him. He took every opportunity to participate in scientific competitions in his home country, Algeria, where he even got the chance to develop robots!

 

The young scientist found that he loved immersing himself among troves of data, demonstrating a keen ability to analyze data and identify patterns. As a result, he focused his undergraduate and postgraduate studies on computational systems where he won the Youngest Researcher Award at the Conference in Bejaia, and then culminated in a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Oran 1, Algeria. Abderrahmane followed his dream all the way to Germany where he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Berlin and then became a project leader at a renowned applied research institute.

 

Like many young Algerians, Abderrahmane followed Mohammed Doumir’s journey on Stars of Science Season 5, who claimed the title of Top Arab Innovator with his project, the Camel Racing Diagnostic Boots, designed to diagnose cases of limping in racing camels using specialized sensors. The promising innovator was inspired to embark on his own innovation journey, knowing full well that he must bring a novel idea and a winning mentality to Season 13.

About the Project 

According to the World Health Organization, around 81,000 to 138,000 people die each year because of snake bites. Further still, they can cause up to three times as many amputations and other permanent disabilities annually.

 

Speed and data are critical when it comes to treating snake bite cases, as the antivenom must be administered before the snake’s venom has the chance to inflict severe damage on the victim’s body. This means conducting blood tests and identifying the specific species of snake involved with adequate medical treatment; a time-consuming process where every second counts, and errors could prove fatal.

 

The stakes are even higher for residents of rural communities throughout the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, where limited access to healthcare services can prove fatal in many cases. The nearest hospital could be hours away, while doctors must contend with poor road networks if they want to reach the victims in time, placing potential cases at heightened risk. 

 

The Diagnostic Tool to Predict Snake Type from Bite and Victim’s Vital Signs promises to save time by guiding the specific antivenom needed and adequate recommendations. The device is placed on the victim to monitor their vital signs and is connected to a designated mobile application that allows the user to input information such as the geographical location and an image of the snake bite. This information is used to identify patterns with the help of a comprehensive database to identify the potential type of the snake involved.

 

This effectively takes on the burden of conducting an accurate diagnosis of the snake bite, especially when the snake is not seen, allowing the hospitals to focus directly on preparing the correct antivenom before the patient arrives rather than appoint a doctor to conduct a thorough examination.

 

Impact

 

In addition to saving lives, and supplying adequate guidelines, the Diagnostic Tool to Predict Snake Type from Bite and Victim’s Vital Signs also promises to save on financial costs through efficient treatment when justified and needed not only for governments but also for low-income rural communities. Residents could then focus on budgeting for antivenom treatment as needed instead of diagnoses, making healthcare more accessible for them and their loved ones.

 

Furthermore, it removes the risk of doctors potentially misidentifying snake bites, which could result in the need for amputations. As an added benefit, it is a non-invasive piece of technology, offering patients slightly more comfort as they await treatment, since there would be no need to draw blood samples to conduct an accurate diagnosis.

 

The Algerian’s invention could also be adapted for use around the world, as the app’s database could be localized to snake species indigenous to various climates, creating an effective tool that protects these communities from fatal cases of snake bites.