Season 14 Innovators
Shada Bennbaia is a serial innovator at heart. The Libyan engineer pursued both a bachelor’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a master’s in Mechanical Engineering at Qatar University and embraced the innovator’s lifestyle: spending time in laboratories, creating and testing prototypes, and applying for grants as much as she can.
Bennbaia is most fascinated by one of nature’s most complicated machines – the human body. In fact, one of her favorite university projects focused on the design of a myoelectric prosthetic arm, which included artificial tendons actuated by servo motors. She is passionate about creating new technologies that can help people around her and improve their quality of life.
Her love for invention could be traced to her childhood – she grew up watching Stars of Science ever since it first aired in 2009. The young Arab innovators inspired Bennbaia, and she was determined to participate in the show when she finds the right idea – one with potential that could show that this region can still produce incredible technologies.
About the Project
Tracking human blood pressure is an important practice - it is one of our body’s vital signs, which medical practitioners analyze to evaluate a patient’s status and determine if there are any health issues. It even helps patients monitor their own conditions, such as hypertension (another term for high blood pressure), allowing them to keep track of any troubling signs that may require their doctor’s attention.
Measuring blood pressure may be easy, but it can often prove inconvenient. Patients need to buy special equipment, including an aneroid or digital monitor, which can be cumbersome to set up. Also, user errors can affect the data being collected, as patients may not adhere to testing protocol – such as taking repeat readings – to ensure that the data is accurate.
Bennbaia’s Continuous Blood Pressure Monitoring Bracelet would make the process easier and more convenient for patients and medical practitioners. The non-invasive bracelet detects and records vibrations generated within the body's blood vessels to give accurate continuous blood pressure measurements. Complex signal processing techniques and machine learning algorithms are used to translate pulsation into a blood pressure waveform where blood pressure measurements are obtained instantly. The bracelet then analyzes this data to alert the user if their blood pressure shows troubling signs.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30-79 years worldwide have hypertension, representing a significant healthcare challenge for communities around the world.
However, most people with hypertension may not even know they have it, since they rarely show symptoms. The popular surefire way to detect hypertension is conducted typically by medical professionals, as they possess the expertise to accurately and continuously evaluate blood pressure readings and related waveforms.
The Continuous Blood Pressure Monitoring Bracelet can greatly help detection efforts, as its convenient design ensures that minimal training is required to extract accurate blood pressure readings. This would ensure that a wider range of practitioners – and even personal users – can collect data that doctors can use to discover cases of hypertension. Furthermore, the Continuous Blood Pressure Monitoring Bracelet has a high potential to be used in hospitals and clinics to provide accurate non-invasive continuous blood pressure monitoring. As currently, it is only possible through invasive methods.