Season 11 Innovators

Profile of

Khaoula Rima Chaabna

Product
Smart Knee Braces
Country
Algeria

About

 

Having been raised on a diet of medical TV shows, such as House and Grey’s Anatomy, throughout her childhood, Khaoula grew a love for the healthcare sciences. She first studied medicine in Algeria, before deciding to embark on her own adventure and continue her studies in Rayazan State Medical University, Russia.

 

The tireless researcher balanced her studies while holding a full-time job and developing the idea that would become her invention on Stars of Science Season 13. Next year, she will be graduating from the university, taking one step closer to realizing her dream of becoming a healthcare manager!

 

Growing up in Algeria, a country that prioritizes excellence in scientific research, Khaoula joined her fellow citizens in cheering for homegrown innovator Mohammed Doumir as he impressed  the Stars of Science Season 6 jury and audience to emerge as Top Innovator back in 2013. From then on, Khaoula knew that she had to take part in the competition.

 

As a silver lining amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the various restrictions put in place, the Algerian powerhouse managed to become a member of the top eight in Season 13, achieving an important personal goal with the added bonus of not putting her studies on hold. For her invention, she combined her lifelong passion for medicine and interest in engineering to introduce a potentially groundbreaking biomedical idea.

 

About the Project 

Athletes competing at the highest level are certain to face injuries throughout their career. The incredible amounts of stress placed on their bodies - even in training - leads to an accumulation of muscle fatigue that is undetectable, which can lead to severe injuries such as a non-contact Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury.

 

The potential consequences are devastating. Knee injuries can be professionally fatal to the players, as it could affect their performance or even force them to retire. Detecting possible injuries ahead of time could save athletes’ livelihoods around the world.

 

Enter Khaoula's Smart Knee Brace, which acts as a monitoring device that warns the user of a possible aggravated knee ACL injury. Using sensors on important leg muscles, such as the quad and hamstring, would extract key electrical signals during training and tracks changes that would indicate that an injury is possible alerting the user to change course or stop training. This warning is given through a phone application that uses unique algorithms and machine learning to translate data into useful advice.

 

Impact

The Smart Knee Brace’s application in a professional sense could generate drastic savings for the field of sport as a whole. Khaoula's innovation promises to decrease the number of preventable ACL injuries and increase the efficiency of the rehabilitation period post-surgery. 

 

This would enable professional athletes, such as footballers, to play the sport they love to their full potential, while also saving their organizations and teams the financial costs caused by such injuries.

 

However, its impact is not just limited to the professional sphere. Amateurs ranging from young athletes to everyday people engaging with their chosen sport are still at risk of a serious leg injury. Helping to mitigate that risk could save people from costly medical bills, lengthy rehabilitation processes, and also preserve the future career prospects of promising athletes.