Obama honors Lebanese biomed tech entrepreneur at the White House
Ziad Sankari (center) was honored by Obama along with other emerging global entrepreneurs using innovation to promote change. (MIT Technology Review)
Lebanon's Ziad Sankari started CardioDiagnostics in 2012. Ziad lost his father to a heart attack when he was seventeen and his family lacked access to proper healthcare. He decided to pursue his studies in understanding the electrical activity of the heart and how monitoring and analyzing that activity can save lives.
In 2008, Ziad attended Ohio State University on a US Fulbright scholarship. After returning to Lebanon, he was selected to pitch his idea at the 2011 Global Innovation through Science and Technology’s (GIST) Tech-I competition where he won first place. Through GIST, a US State Department-funded initiative, Ziad received his first round of seed funding and traveled through various US cities to expand his network, learn how to negotiate, and connect with mentors.
Given his experiences, Ziad sees education as essential to successful entrepreneurship and to combat rising issues of poverty and extremism. He hopes to support other startups and build a high-performing educational system in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East that leverages U.S. expertise and connections to open a world of opportunities to younger generations.
Today, the company uses FDA-approved wearable devices that are 24/7 GPS-enabled heart rate monitors allowing for heart monitoring centers to communicate diagnostic and preventive information to patients in the United States, where the center has over 40 employees, and in Lebanon.
According to the MIT Technology Review, Obama said “We want to empower pioneers like Ziad Sankari; today he is improving the way we respond to cardiac incidents, which will have enormous ramifications, not only in places like Lebanon, but potentially all around the world.”
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