Mohammad Baloola interview: Beating the bulge

The monitor, which Baloola first developed back in 2008 and has been working on improving ever since, allows doctors to monitor diabetics through a hand-held mobile medical device kept by the patients. The database receives also alerts doctors of the patients’ location and condition if it detects any abnormalities. The product, which is about the size of an iPhone, comes in 86 designs allowing patients to choose the most appropriate to their condition.

“Patients have a choice as to what they want to do in case of an emergency; they can call the hospital, the police or any relatives. It’s especially good for children as they typically suffer from type one diabetes, which is more critical and can result in a coma. My device allows their parents to monitor any changes and react quickly to any abnormalities,” explains Baloola.

Baloola’s invention has already been recognised within the medical and scientific community. In April last year he was awarded AED40,000 ($10,890) by the Tumoohat Shabab (Young Ambitions) programme, produced by Sharjah Television and in November was received the science and innovation prize at the Arabian Business Achievement Awards. He has also been a regular face at medical conferences across the world, including in America, Singapore and the Arab Health Conference, where he has presented his ideas to the wider medical profession.

Baloola — now a biomedical engineering teaching assistant at the Ajman University of Science and Technology — is currently working on producing a patentable prototype and partnering with a large pharmaceutical brand to help develop his idea further. “There are many companies working in this area but not all of their monitors are as accurate. I am looking to partner with a leading company to get funding, as you cannot work alone in this field,” he says.

One area Baloola is keen to stress is that he wants to make his invention as accessible as possible with a retail price of around AED200 ($54.40) — about the same cost as a normal glucose meter currently available in pharmacies. “In 20 years' time my aim is to see every diabetic using one of my devices. I don’t want to see diabetes rates reaching 440 million by 2030,” he says.

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