What We Do
Ignite comprises fast paced presentations where participants can present innovative and creative ideas based in healthcare / biomedicine. The ideas may range from those currently under research to ones that are quite abstract. Since 2014, CCIT has conducted 7 such events, with almost sixty igniters, with limitless outreach of their ideas as the brief 5 minute videos are disseminated through social media.
Narrative Medicine enhances healthcare personnel’s empathy and compassion. Through the creative/reflective narrative-writing aspect of this domain, people get to learn about not only the medical aspects of patients, but also their backgrounds, thoughts, and reflections. It has become an effective way for doctors and nurses to communicate with other professionals –medical or otherwise–lay public, and even patients themselves. To date, there have been 70 articles published on the Narrative Medicine blog, amassing over 50,000 views.
The Gaming League allows a much needed break to the students and staff of AKU from their daily routines to engage in various activities ranging from outdoor sports to board/video games. It uses a multidisciplinary, trans-generational and non-hierarchical approach to promote team building within the diverse AKU population. We have engaged AKU East Africa in the Gaming League process and we look ahead to a fruitful collaboration that is cross campus.
Hackathons can serve as the perfect platform for people from all walks of life - with or without a medical background - to put their heads together to solve existing healthcare problems by generating new ideas and evolving them into innovations with proper business models. Since 2016, CCIT has conducted three Hackathons at AKU based around emergency medicine, pediatrics and medical education, respectively. The 4th and 5th events were mini Hackathons, whereby we successfully demonstarted smaller and more fast tracked hacks of specific issues related to research (for the Department of Medicine) and student experience (for the Office of the Dean of Students). The 6th Hackathon based on Global Surgery took place in February 2019. The 7th major Hackathon in January 2020 was a community-based one in collaboration with AKU's Institute of Educational Development (IED), on school preparedness for emergencies. With COVID-19 creating major global disruption right after, we followed suit with our 8th Hackathon that was unique because of its 100% virtual nature, and at zero cost, for hacking issues around the pandemic. To date, close to 1500 inter-disciplinary hackers have been involved in almost 100 team-based innovative solutions to myriad problems relevant to the aforementioned themes, with special emphasis on resource-limited settings.
The Incubation Programme
After conducting three Hackathons, the need for an AKU incubator became evident – a place where actual innovations brought forth could be better aligned with the problems they promised to eradicate. This is precisely the function of our program, a first of its kind at AKU. Since its inception in March 2018, we have managed to nurture both student-led and student-centric innovations at AKU. To date, more than fifteen incubates have been taken through a formal process of incubation, with a few securing early stage seed funding. Through channeling student creativity we hope to develop entrepreneurial and innovative (disruptive or non-disruptive) solutions with far reaching benefits across AKU campuses and thus informing the larger national healthcare/biomedical ecosystem.
Some of our incubates include:
A significant gap exists between research experts and early-career researchers, particularly in terms of communication, access and mentorship. Rinder is solving this with a mobile application that matches students to faculty doing research in their particular area of interest, and to industrial experts based on a unique algorithm that optimizes matches based on specific data points. For more information please contact
BitMed splits clinical teaching curriculum into “bits” in an effort to ensure minimal repetition of content taught, coordinate teaching efforts within the clinical faculty, and hence, maximize clinical teaching efficiency. For more information please contact
Respiratory distress is a severe medical condition caused by various pathologies e.g. asthma, pneumonia, or congestive heart failure. Currently, two universal devices commonly exist to assist in ventilation. This aimed to create an automated, reliable, and long-lasting attachment to fit onto a standard AMBU bag and automate compression and air supply. The device is cost effective and can last long enough to act as a potential temporary ventilator replacement, thereby can potentially save lives that are lost due to lack of efficient resources and manpower. For more information please contact
The Pain Free Invisible Needle (PFIN) is a cheap, yet effective way to curb trypanophobia. This innovation consists of a carboard, worn as a sleeve with holographic stickers to divert the child's attention, and hide the needle. Meanwhile, a local anaesthetic sprayed on the site of injection would serve to numb the surface and provide the 'pain-free' aspect. PFIN has undergone laboratory dummy arm trials, and is currently in the clinical trials phase of its process. For more information please contact
Algos will support remote monitoring of vital for high-risk patients centrally in in-patient settings using a single data format to allow for seamless data sorting and visualization. For more information please contact
Realizing a gap in post-operative follow-up, team Maseeha Health is developing a tool for patients to remain connected with care providers. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlighting the under-highlighted issue of language barriers, Multi-language Taskers are developing a 2-way verbal communication application that will have in-built protocols such as pain assessment and diabetes explained in multiple regional languages. For more information please contact email@example.com
Tackling the problem surrounding inadequate informed consent around surgical procedures –Surgucator is a platform seeking to connect patients and their attendants with adequate knowledge about impending and advised procedures through digital content. Surgucators will simplify and fully explain the process, benefits, potential risks and recovery for the different patient types undergoing surgery. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
When it comes to deciding whether to proceed with surgical intervention, patients can suffer from broad range of anxieties – ranging from financial to social, preventing them from seeking necessary treatment. Surgit is a community collaboration tool designed to provide awareness, access and opportunity to patients requiring surgical intervention. For more information please contact