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1st Place

Walid Albanna

The Brain Ninja
Neurovascular Retina Analyzer


Neurosurgery is no easy undertaking. You have to be able to deal with constant pressure having to work with the most delicate parts of the brain.  Nerves of steel are by no means an unnecessary luxury. Walid has mastered his a long time ago. As a medical professional, he is knowledgeable and compassionate. Never afraid to add a human touch, he makes his patients feel safe and valued.  

The soft-spoken doctor spent his teenage years in his native Gaza, Palestine. He earned his degree in neurosuregry in Germany, where he’s been a reputable asset to the medical field for the past nine years. As a prize winner for the best clinical research in Germany (DGNI/2017), he has made significant progress in studying the prediction and detection of stroke using the eye.   

Walid intends to blend innovation with his passion to contribute to patients’ wellbeing. “I consider myself the lion of the pack. Not because of my strength, more so I want to take care of and protect other people.” Winning Stars of Science with a lifesaving device would be an honorable tribute to the ten-year anniversary of the show for Walid. “Nothing worthwhile comes easy. In or outside the operating room, Stars of Science facilitates positive change, and it’s up to us to grab this opportunity.”

About The Project

Every detail, action and reaction counts in the ICU. Neurosurgeons are used to handling invasive procedures, but the easiest and quickest insight into the brain is through the eye. The eye is an embryological part of the brain, and can offer indications that a patient is in need of more intensive follow up or more impeding intervention through scans.

Walid’s innovation is a portable Neurovascular Retina Analyzer that can support the monitoring of patients after a stroke. Millions of people suffer from strokes annually. The chance of a recurring stroke increases in the immediate aftermath of one. Patients are monitored in the intensive care for at least three weeks after suffering a stroke.

As part of the monitoring process, doctors use large cameras to scan a patient’s eye. Walid’s innovation is a robotic camera which scans the retina. The retina and its vessels reflect the pathological brain changes in real time. A medical caretaker can strap it on a resting patient’s head to get a quick, thorough and accurate reading.


By deploying a smart wearable retinal camera, the Neurovascular Retina Analyzer will increase the quality of brain monitoring. It gives doctors more efficient ways to monitor patients during their recovery, providing indicative data that will determine if they need more intensive follow ups or scans.