Cameroonian inventor, Arthur Zang has won the 2016 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, organized by The Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom, for his heart-monitoring device, the Cardio-Pad.
The Cardio-Pad is a small tablet device that allows any medical professional to perform heart diagnostics at any location. These diagnostics, sent to a cardiologist via a mobile phone network, are interpreted in under 20 minutes.
Cardio-Pad can help discover, monitor or rule out heart conditions as a source of pain without expensive trips to cities where cardiologists are based.
It is estimated that nearly one in two Africans over the age of 25 has undiagnosed hypertension, and an estimated 20 million Africans suffer from a cardiovascular disease. A further 80 million Africans are estimated to have abnormally high blood pressure, which can lead to heart failure.
Arthur Zang’s device has the potential of changing the way these Africans access treatment for heart disease.
To come out tops, Arthur Zang, and 11 other finalists, went through a six month period of mentoring and training where he learnt how to develop business plans and market his innovations from business development and engineering experts.
A panel of judges and a live audience voted his innovation the most promising following a pitch session with 3 other finalists at the awards ceremony which took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on May 26, 2016. He went home with £25,000.
“Arthur’s technology is powerful and solves a real problem,” said Dr. Askwar Hilonga, who won the inaugural Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation in 2015.
He added, “It touches the underserved communities, and is a tangible technology that Africa can be proud of – developed in Africa, for Africans.”
The three runners up are Eddie Aijuka for Kamata from Uganda, Felix Kimaru and the Totohealth team from Kenya, and Matt Wainwright and the Standard Microgrid team from South Africa. They each won £10,000.
“I was very impressed by Arthur Zang and his team, which aims to help patients in communities where access to cardiac specialists is limited. We are very proud to have him as our second Africa Prize winner,” said head judge, Malcolm Brinded CBE FREng.
He added, “The Cardio-Pad should allow quick, low cost, cardiac illness detection and monitoring in rural villages and towns, addressing a huge African health challenge. Arthur has successfully established an assembly unit in Yaoundé, and incorporated the training that he received through the Africa Prize. His business plan is sound and his innovation could improve quality of life for millions of Africans.”
The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation aims to stimulate, celebrate and reward innovation and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa.
It encourages ambitious and talented sub-Saharan African engineers from all disciplines to develop solutions to local challenges, and to develop them into businesses.
The competition is generously supported by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, The Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund, Consolidated Contractors, ConocoPhillips and The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Africa Prosperity Fund.