London

London science fair whiz kid wins big at international competition

14-year-old Danish Mahmood of London Central Secondary School has been on a science fair winning streak, for something he calls the Wireless Interconnected Non-Invasive System. On his journey to the top, Mahmood also secured a Western University entrance scholarship.

Grade 9 London student wins top prize at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists

Danish Mahmood won the top prize at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (Photo submitted by Danish Mahmood)

You might say he's wise beyond his years.

Grade 9 Central Secondary student Danish Mahmood has been on the science fair circuit, and last week took home the top prize at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Tallinn, Estonia for something he calls the Wireless Interconnected Non-Invasive System.

Basically, it's a wearable finger sensor that continuously measures a patient's vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. 

Mahmood said patients often wait hours in waiting rooms where they are not monitored closely.

"There have actually been casualties as a result of patients being left unmonitored in waiting rooms."

Now imagine, said Mahmood, that a hospital is dealing with mass casualties. 

"What happens when you have lots of patients flowing in and out of hospitals for example in a mass casualty incident when you really need that mass patient monitoring."

As part of his win, Danish Mahmood took home 7,000 euros (Submitted by Danish Mahmood)

"We need some kind of system to connect the flow between responders, paramedics and hospital team members,"  said Mahmood, who came up with the idea while sitting in an emergency room. He said his solution hits close to home but has much wider implications.

His current prototype costs $110.

"I love looking at problems the world has and trying to find solutions to those as that's what basically every scientist tries to do."

Mahmood secured an entrance scholarship to Western University earlier this year after winning Canada-Wide Science Fair in May. And his win in Tallinn came with a cash prize of 7,000 euros.

The 14-year-old student skipped first period on Monday morning to speak with London Morning host Rebecca Zandbergen.

"Grade 9 is a large step from elementary school. This is where you actually start learning things.

"It's pretty easy in terms of the concepts that you learn, but at the pace you learn them you kind of need to adjust a little bit from elementary school." 

After high school, Mahmood plans on going into medicine.

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About the Author

Rebecca Zandbergen

Host, London Morning

Rebecca Zandbergen is from Ottawa and has worked for CBC Radio across the country for more than 15 years, including stops in Iqaluit, Halifax, Windsor and Kelowna.