J’can students pitch tech for cardiovascular revolution
SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica — A diagnosis of athlete’s heart in one of their colleagues spurred the decision of a group of Jamaican student leaders to pitch the topic of affordable, reliable and convenient heart monitoring at the Huawei Seeds for the Future 2023 programme here.
Twenty-one-year old student of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Donniver Haughton was diagnosed with the condition this year, and so when it came time to choose a topic for the pitch, the team of seven UWI and University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) students already had a research subject.
Athlete’s heart sees an increase in cardiac mass from the type of systematic training required of athletes.
The team of four males and three females formed the start-up CardioPulse Connect, a versatile solution that provides holistic cardiovascular monitoring through AI analysis, assistive technology, and emergency response.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the top five leading causes of death in Jamaica, which makes the need for the team’s device especially impactful, explained lead presenter and UTech student Renée Campbell.
The technology behind CardioPulse Connect is groundbreaking. The electrodes on the user’s chest, through an inconspicuous (undetachable) device, will register their heart rate, send it to a microprocessor, and then feed it to the unique, user-friendly application via an embedded wireless communication system, giving real time analysis and results.
The data will then be passed through the AI network, which will produce accurate results, save it to a cloud server or local storage, and then send it to a doctor via telemedicine.
The pitch was part of the engagements of Seeds for the Future participants for 2023, who were trained over a week in Costa Rica. Seeds for the Future is a corporate social responsibility programme of Huawei Technologies.
Since 2015, Huawei, a leading provider of information and communications technologies, has carried out the programme for students within Central America and the Caribbean, training more than 400 pupils with the most advanced technologies from the company’s experts. This year, 92 students participated in the programme that offered technological, cultural, and soft skills training in San José.
The Jamaican team — Haughton, Brendon Sadler, Gawayne Wright and Kevaughn Williams from The UWI; and Campbell, Brianna Hanson and Dahlia Richards from UTech — joined teams of university students from Guatemala, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Panama, Suriname and El Salvador.
“From the very first day we received training from mentors, and they helped us to narrow down the topics and [assisted us] in the decision-making process,” Campbell explained.
She said the team has been matched with connections in the health-care and research sectors who may be able to help them move their project forward.
For Haughton, whose diagnosis and treatment have proven expensive, fuelling his desire to see an affordable tech revolution for those with cardiovascular disease, he hopes the project can reach the global stage — an innovation from Jamaica that will allow users to have access to the most current technology.
The team of future leaders in the STEM space welcomed the experience of the technological and cultural adventure in San José, where they shared with experts and leaders of the ICT industry.
Seeds for the Future has been carried out consecutively for 15 years since its first launch in 2008 in Thailand, and more than 15,000 students from more than 500 universities in 137 countries and regions around the world have participated in the programme. The programme has been implemented since 2015 in Central America and the Caribbean, reaching more than 400 students from 10 countries in the region.