Season 14 Innovators
Taking inspiration from his many relatives working in Morocco’s healthcare sector, Mohammed Sqalli dreamed of following in their footsteps and looking to help care for his community. And so, he – passionate about math and biology – decided to focus his energies into becoming an engineer.
But Sqalli found another way to realize his childhood dream. As a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering student at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), Qatar, he took advantage of the Qatar Foundation (QF) ecosystem to dive into the medical sciences and regularly visited the Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) campus to attend talks and conduct research in their facilities.
The young Moroccan did not stop there. He seized the opportunity of being in close proximity to several renowned universities and spent as much time as he could absorbing knowledge from multiple fields. Sqalli believed that as an HBKU student, his lab was all of QF, and that he had access to every aspect of QF’s ecosystem, whether it was the students, libraries, research facilities, experts, or professors.
It was during a WCM-Q talk where Sqalli found the inspiration for his Stars of Science Season 14 project – an opportunity for him to direct his engineering expertise in service of his passion to the medical sciences!
About the Project
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of modern medicine’s invaluable tools. This simple, yet effective, test provides the basis for any initial assessment of a human heart’s health, utilizing electrodes attached strategically to the patient’s skin to record the heart’s electrical activity. These continuous graphs can help health practitioners detect possible heart conditions, make informed diagnoses, and prescribe proper treatment plans for their patients.
It is therefore crucial that aspiring cardiologists, doctors, and nurses learn how to properly interpret ECG simultaneous charts. Failure to pick up on potentially troublesome signs in the data can have serious consequences for the long-term health of patients.
Sqalli’s Eye Tracker ECG Reading Assistant aims to provide medical students with detailed guidance on their eye gaze as they read ECG charts off of a display. It does this by tracking the student’s eye movements as they analyze charts, utilizing artificial intelligence to highlight specific areas for critical data points they may have missed, and thus ensuring they can accurately diagnose any potential heart issues.
Medical schools around the world could utilize the Eye Tracker ECG Reading Assistant to give instructors data to help them better guide their students through the ECG interpretation process – thus creating an even more interactive training environment for aspiring medical staff.
The device could also make ECG training accessible to more medical students of varying specialties, ensuring that an even larger pool of healthcare practitioners is able to assist their colleagues in conducting this crucial test.
Ultimately, Sqalli’s invention would ensure that patients with heart conditions in the Arab world and beyond can confidently receive the correct consultation and treatment they need.