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27-year-old nurse designs 2-minute ECG machine

23 Feb 2021 By MOHAMMED TAHA

A device designed by a 27-year-old Omani has caught the attention of the scientific community for reducing the time needed to conduct heart examination on patients. 

Ali Abdullah Humaid al Gharibi from the wilayat of Ibri, Dhahirah governorate, who works in Ibri Hospital’s accident and emergency department as a general nurse, has made an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine that examines patients in two minutes, sometimes less. Regular ECG machines take up to five minutes to conduct the same examination. 

“The need for this arose from a real life situation, which many of us encounter. In 2015, when I was working with a patient, he needed an urgent ECG.”

Recalling the incident, he said,  “It was a race against time. I was under pressure to do it as fast as I could because the patient was experiencing severe chest pain and in unstable condition.”

Gharibi noted that in such circumstances, there could be several other factors developing simultaneously to further slow the procedure. “It prompted me to think how I can solve this problem. The challenge piqued my curiosity and an idea evolved,” Gharibi told Muscat Daily.

His device is a 12-lead ECG machine that presents a comprehensive picture of the heart and the electrical impulses passing through the muscle. 

“Such a device would benefit all of humanity, not just Oman. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it helps save time and – more significantly – reduce exposure time for patients which eventually minimises risk of disease transmission.”

Gharibi’s biggest challenge in designing his ECG machine was availability of equipment. “The design itself was the first roadblock which was overcome following endless discussions with a specialist engineer. The design went through several stages of tweaking,” he said, adding that he has no financial support in the project. 

Gharibi’s is confident his ECG machine can expedite the procedure for clinicians and hopefully replace the traditional machines currently in use. 

He is in the process of applying for a patent and registering the device with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Development.

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