Uppsala Student of the Year: Allen Ali Mohammadi
2 November 2016
Allen Ali Mohammadi wants to help people. He wants to save lives. He has already received an EU grant for his device which should be able to detect early signs of heart disease. Being named Uppsala student of the year, he hopes, should help him reach the goal of getting it into production.
“I cried when Anders Wall called. Tears ran down my face. For several years I have visualised meeting Anders Wall, but I never thought it would happen this soon.”
The Uppsala Student of the Year Allen Ali Mohammadi is 27 years old and a real entrepreneur. He was twelve and living in Iran when he started his first company. When many of his friends complained that maths was difficult, Allen and his brother Max Mohammadhassan thought there must be a solution to that problem. They created a computer game which taught maths in a fun way. The game became a success. Two years later they sold their company for a nice profit.
“That was great. Among other things, I used the money to learn English, which is the very reason I can be here today,” he says.
Somewhere far back lies a degree in engineering, but it’s his passion for solving other people’s problems which drives him forwards. Everything else seems unimportant. At the same time as studying the two-year Master Programme in Energy Technology at Uppsala University he is working on his invention Heartstrings, a product which should make it possible to detect heart diseases at an early stage when they may be preventable. The idea came up with Allen’s grandma died of a heart attack, 63 years old.
“That was a shock and a sorrow that affected the whole family for a long time. It was sudden and we thought a lot about if we could have predicted the heart attack. That’s when me and my brother out of sheer curiosity started investigating which signs can be found in the body before the heart attack occurs. How can someone die without any warning?”
Together the two brothers started working on coming up with a solution and today they are well on their way. Heartstrings is intended to work by simply holding it up against your chest where the heart is and it will detect and evaluate all the signs of a heart attack which may be available, for instance ECG, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and body temperature. Allen compares it to the blood sugar testers that diabetics have, or perhaps even a regular thermometer. By adding up the different measurements, the patient should be able to get a good indication of the risk having a heart attack.
Heartstrings has already been tested with 500 patients, and Allen Ali Mohammadi has received an EU grant for young entrepreneurs to further develop it.
“With Heartstrings we aren’t just making yet another new product. We are making an opportunity to save lives.”
It is two years since he came to Sweden and to Uppsala as a Master’s student. He is impressed and touched by how Sweden’s system for students works – ‘educational culture’ as he puts it. He has felt well taken care of by all in the University and at the department.
“I always feel that both professors and administrators always are there by my side, that they really look after me as a student. I am so very grateful. We will stay in Sweden and continue to develop our idea here. We have been given so much in this country, by the University and by all of Swedish society. Now it is time for us to give something back.”
Uppsala Student of the Year:
The Uppsala Student of the Year scholarship is awarded by the Anders Wall Foundation. It is awarded to a student who has distinguished themselves through their good, creative efforts at Uppsala University, taken part in student union and/or student nation activities, or has made special efforts in support of other students, alternatively has developed entrepreneurship in connection with the University’s activities.
The award citation:
“Allen Ali Mohammadi is 27 years old and studies for a Master’s degree in energy technology. Allen is a visionary, an entrepreneur and an inventor who inspires other students. He started his first company when he was just 12 years old. Alongside good grades at Uppsala University, he has developed a prize-winning tool for early diagnosis of heart diseases, Heartstrings. The tool integrates data from blood tests, electrocardiograms and demographic information and matches them against statistical comparisons of characteristic symptoms of the illness. The tool, which has been tested and validated on 500 patients, can save time and resources for doctors, hospitals, care providers, insurance companies and other similar actors in society. Allen is a good ambassador for Uppsala University and Sweden, and has won several national and international awards. He is a true enthusiast, changing society with his ambition and capacity for innovation.”