Africa’s inventor of the continent’s first medical tablet, the Cardiopad, Arthur Zang, could win a portion of the 93 million FCFA (150,000 USD) of 2015’s Prize for Innovation in Africa (PIA) held by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF).
The Cameroonian engineer who developed the tablet that facilitates cardiovascular testing with results being communicated remotely is among the 10 nominees for 2015’s Prize for Innovation in Africa out of 925 candidates from 41 African countries.
The final results will be announced on May 12 and 13 in Skhirat in Morocco, the country which the AIF has referred to as “becoming a platform for innovation in Africa.”
Zang grew up in Mbankomo, a town 22 kilometres from Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé. It had no running water and the electricity supply was intermittent. “During that time I learned to make do with little,” he says. Making it to university to study computer engineering in Yaoundé, he became fascinated by the potential of computers to changing lives. From his disadvantaged beginnings, he drew the motivation to solve problems that would leave humanity better off.
Zang felt he could best serve Cameroon by improving the health of its people. Conscious of the rising toll from heart disease caused by changing lifestyles and the difficulty of getting a reliable early diagnosis – especially in rural communities – he designed a robust, portable, low-cost way to measure heart health, anywhere, any time. In 2014, his invention inspired U.S. business magazine Forbes to list Zang among the “30 most promising entrepreneurs in Africa”.