Season 11 Innovators
Throughout his life, Ousama adhered to a piece of advice from his mother: it does not matter if you have a PhD, and it is not about the degrees you put on a wall - it is all about your skillset. After earning a Master’s in computer science at the University of Texas, U.S.A., he followed her guidance, deciding not to pursue a doctorate as was expected by a lot of his peers hailing from his native Lebanon.
Within a few years after graduation, the budding inventor created his own biomedical startup, working to develop a novel technology that aimed to record glucose levels in a person’s bloodstream. Although it did not work out, he fell in love with the journey and learned his fair share of lessons, including how to handle trademarks, attract customers, and follow government regulations.
Aside from a talented scientific and entrepreneurial mind, the Lebanese innovator actively monitors and maintains his bodily health. He follows a strict vegetarian diet and tracks his vital signs, ensuring that he can keep his body at optimal condition. This inspired his Stars of Science project, which was born out of his desire to help the smokers around him keep track of their lungs’ condition.
About the Project
Chronic respiratory diseases (CRD) threaten the health of millions of people across the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 235 million people suffer from asthma worldwide, while chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is responsible for 3 million deaths globally.
It is crucial for such cases to be identified in a timely manner to help maintain the quality of life for CRD patients. While they are not curable, identifying the right drugs and treatments can ensure that sufferers can continue to lead active and productive lives.
The Wearable Omni Stethoscope Vest would help patients monitor their lungs’ condition, weaving multiple digital stethoscopes and wireless technology into a specially designed vest that the patient can wear. With the help of machine learning, the device processes and analyzes the audio data taken from all the stethoscopes simultaneously, providing an accurate assessment of the lungs and sending the data to the patient’s physician and an alert to the user’s phone if they spot any abnormalities.
Communities throughout the Arab world face heightened risk from lung conditions and diseases by a combination of factors. With deserts comprising much of the local climate, residents are exposed to significant levels of fine dust, which can build up in the lungs or contain harmful particles from the desert, including naturally formed crystalline silica.
In addition, tobacco smoking is still popular among men throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In its Global Report on Trends in Prevalence of Tobacco Use 2000-2025, third edition, WHO estimated that 30 percent of males over the age of 15 in the region used tobacco in 2015. This used to be even higher, with the organization recording a rate of 55.6 percent back in 2000.
Consequently, there is a high risk of lung conditions and diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer, in communities throughout the region. Ousama’s invention would help residents keep a close eye on their lungs’ condition, providing a straightforward and comprehensive examination of the lungs. This would allow people to pursue treatments before the lungs face heavy damage, helping them lead healthy lives in this part of the world.