Associate Professor May El Barachi

Towards Smart, Technology-Assisted Healthcare Solutions

9 October, 2019
UOW Innovation Campus, North Wollongong

Prof Thomas Astell-Burt is a Founding Co-Director of the PowerLab and an NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellow. Thomas will outline some recent news and findings by the PowerLab in the area of population health environmental data science.

Dr. May El Barachi is an expert in smart technologies and systems, holding Ph.D. and master’s degrees in Computer Science from Concordia University (Canada). She has 15 years’ experience in the field, with a strong focus on smart cities and sensory-based systems. During those years, she acquired academic experience as associate professor and has worked as senior researcher with Ericsson Research Canada. She co-founded and directed a cutting-edge research lab aiming at leveraging sensory, cloud, and mobile technologies to build innovative solutions. Presently, she works as Associate Professor at University of Wollongong Dubai, and is the head of the Sensors and IoT research group and the leader of the IBM Collaboration initiative. In the past 5 years, Dr. El Barachi has raised 2.5 Million AED in research funds and has established many research collaborations with international universities and local industrial partners. Currently, she is the recipient of two global challenges grants and six UOWD internal grants, and has a team of 12 research students working under her supervision to conduct research activities related to those projects. In her work, Dr. El Barachi focuses on applied inter-disciplinary research projects that combine different areas of expertise in a synergetic manner and aim at solving challenging problems facings the society.

Dr. El Barachi’s current research interests include e-healthcare; mobile crowdsensing; smart and intelligent systems; smart cities; Blockchain-based solutions; AI and deep learning; cloud computing models; virtual networks; and next generation networks. In these areas, she has authored many peer-reviewed papers and has one accepted patent.

Seminar Abstract: According to the world health organization, chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Indeed, chronic diseases (CDs) kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally. Furthermore, CDs lead to reduced labour force from mortality, absenteeism, disability and early retirement, which has a negative impact on national income (GDP). The average global annual income losses due to CDs is estimated at 119.5 Billion USD. Cardio Vascular Diseases, Cancer, Diabetes, Epilepsy and Dementia are examples of prominent CDs.

Considered as one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century, chronic diseases take an important toll on societies, impacting countries and individuals. At the country level, chronic diseases lead to reduced life expectancy due to premature deaths, diminishes the labour force productivity, lead to low economic growth and a deepening of poverty & inequality, not to mention the increased healthcare needs and spending by governments. At the individual level, chronic diseases have negative physical, mental, social, and economic impacts. To face those challenges, health care requires an innovative approach to address chronic diseases to provide sustainability of care and to limit the excessive costs that may threaten the current systems.

In this talk, Dr. El Barachi will discuss how an inter-disciplinary research approach leveraging a combination of emerging technologies can be used to provide innovative approaches to chronic disease management. Two global challenges projects conducted as part of the global challenges initiative, and focusing on Epilepsy and Dementia, will be discussed as examples for such innovative solutions.