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Zain Samdani, India, 18

Project: ExoHeal

Basic Human Needs: Health

While visiting family in India, Zain learned that many amputees in the country lacked access to prosthetic limbs. With a strong interest in robotics, Zain decided to attempt production of an affordable robotic prosthetic hand. During his research, he learned there were 200 million patients worldwide with hand paralysis and hand stroke. While some rehabilitation centers offered robotics during therapy, the equipment was bulky, expensive and focused on manual interaction, which made recovery both labor‐intensive and expensive. By combining the concepts of neuroplasticity with his passion for robotics, Zain created ExoHeal. The affordable, lightweight and portable exoskeletal device helps patients recover and regain motor function much more quickly than traditional rehabilitation equipment. Zain also integrated an app into the device that bridges the gap between the patient and the doctor, allowing patients to use the device comfortably and conveniently at home. Exoheal increases the recovery rate by 30%, and has been recognized by globally renowned science fairs including Google Science Fair, Misk Hackathon and IRIS National Fair. The latest Exoheal model is designed to feel like a second skin, which Zain hopes will give patients self-confidence, facilitate them to lead normal lives and change misconceptions about physical disabilities. By the end of 2019, Zain’s goal is to make ExoHeal available to people on a global scale, liberating those suffering from hand disabilities.