Posted on December 12, 2017

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) has launched its Young Innovators competition, which will form part of the recently announced fourth edition of WISH. WISH’s Young Innovators competition gives people under the age of 30 the opportunity to present novel healthcare-related products and innovations globally to an international audience of policy makers and influencers at WISH 2018, which will take place at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha on 13 and 14 November 2018.

Speaking during his opening address at the recent London Innovation in Healthcare Summit, Professor The Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH, invited talented young innovators to apply to the competition. “We all understand that innovation is our hope to building a healthier tomorrow and therefore it is vital that we provide a platform for today’s young minds to bring forward their novel ideas. Today’s gathering emphasizes our joint commitment to look for novel outcomes at the intersection of innovation and healthcare,” Lord Darzi said.

The London event was held at the Royal Horticultural Halls on December 11 and was organized by WISH in collaboration with London-based Imperial College Health Partners and Imperial College’s Institute of Global Health Innovation. During the event, WISH took the opportunity to showcase talented young Arab innovators including Dr. Ahmad Nabeel from Kuwait, inventor of ‘Virtual Beam and the Self-Cleaning Laparoscope’, which offers an innovative way of cleaning a laparoscope’s lens without having to remove the laparoscope from the patient, thereby minimizing risk of infection and significantly cutting surgery time.

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Dr. Nabeel, who last month was a finalist on Qatar Foundation’s TV show Stars Of Science, said: “As a medical practitioner, I understand the benefits of pairing innovative technologies with healthcare. Indeed, the idea of a self-cleaning laparoscope came from seeing how disruptive it was to remove and clean a laparoscope several times during surgical procedures. It’s a privilege being able to talk about my innovation in front of global healthcare leaders during this great event and I strongly urge young innovators to develop their ideas and apply for the WISH 2018 Young Innovators competition.”

Also present at the London event was Syrian entrepreneur Anwar Almojarkesh, also a Stars Of Science alumnus. Almojarkesh demonstrated his ‘Braci’ technology, which uses a mobile application to provide communication support for people with hearing loss and also for the elderly, their families, and carers. Commenting on his participation in the event, Almojarkesh said: “Being part of WISH since 2015 and having the opportunity to connect with leaders from the healthcare industry has allowed our company to move forward here in the UK, Qatar and beyond. Now we are recognized as one of the only Arabic assistive technology companies in the market helping people with hearing loss, and we’ve been able to prove that technology can be integrated with healthcare knowledge to make life easier and safer.”

More than 200 health experts attended the London Innovation in Healthcare Summit – from the UK, US, Qatar and Kuwait. Among the attendees from Qatar were UK-based Qatari students taking part in the Qatar Research Leadership Program, a program supported by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development. At the invitation of WISH, the eye health charity Orbis used the event to take delegates on a virtual tour of their Flying Eye Hospital and demonstrate a range of eye health related innovations. Eye health was recently announced as the first of nine topics that will be the focus of WISH research in the months leading up to WISH 2018. Another eight topics will be announced over the coming months and will focus on a range of medical, social, humanitarian, and policy-driven areas.

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Dr. Walid Qoronfleh, Director of Research and Policy at WISH, took part in a panel at the London summit that looked at healthcare innovation from a global perspective. During the discussion, he highlighted the global adoption of healthcare innovation from a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) perspective.

“We are proud of our young MENA innovators. It goes to show that healthcare innovation is global in nature. New technologies have the potential to reinvent healthcare as we know it because different disciplines can come together to contribute towards healthcare innovation. Consequently, these innovations will not only help us adopt practices with a deeper focus on personalized and patient-anchored care, but also promote the collection, integration and dissemination of data that can improve quality of care and decrease global mortality rates.

“Artificial intelligence and data analytics will make is easier to understand and study populations at scale and the use of digital and mobile health technologies at such a high scale will transform healthcare systems for the betterment of populations worldwide,” said Dr. Qoronfleh.

To apply for WISH 2018 Young Innovators Competition, click here