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Karachi

August 8, 2018

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MoU signed to improve health care and medical education

The Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America (OPEN), the Aga Khan University (AKU) and a Pakistani multinational pharmaceutical company on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support start-ups of young entrepreneurs that solve today’s challenges in health care and medical education.

The MoU was signed by AKU President Firoz Rasul and OPEN Karachi President Dr Zakiuddin Ahmed, who is also director of Digital Health & Strategic Projects at PharmEvo. Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Firoz Rasul said that in the United States opportunities are provided to those individuals who tried to implement new ideas and technologies but failed, as failures help such people learn a lot from their mistakes and to improve their projects in view of previous shortcomings.

He said the objective behind their partnership is to support and promote new ideas and help start-ups so that new products based on technology and innovation can be introduced in the field of health care and medical education.

“Innovation is the lifeline of our university as well as our country, and we are looking forward to new ideas and products from our students and faculty,” he added. He believes that universities have a very important role to play in the promotion of science and technology so that the sufferings of the ailing humanity can be minimised.

Dr Zakiuddin Ahmed termed their partnership an exciting initiative, and hoped that it would promote innovation and creativity in Pakistan. “AKU has emerged as the only university that has taken such an initiative, and we are ready to support their students and faculty in materialising their innovative ideas.”

He said Pakistani students are so talented that they can revolutionise health care in the country with their ideas and start-ups, adding that OPEN, which is the largest organisation of Pakistani entrepreneurs in North America with chapters in London and Pakistan, is committed to supporting start-ups at university level in Pakistan.

He informed the meeting that OPEN is already running a virtual hospital where doctors and patients are connected through technology irrespective of the distance between them, and that they do a lot of “digital health” and regularly conduct webinars to promote health care in Pakistan.

Dr Asad Mian, director of the Critical Creative Innovative Thinking forum at AKU, said the collaboration between AKU, OPEN and pharma is aimed at capacity-building of young AKU students and seeking serious partnerships for university-based start-ups.

He said their forum has been promoting the use of technology, for which they are partnering with other organisations and inviting foreign speakers, hoping that this new collaboration would result in innovative solutions for Pakistan’s health care.

On the occasion, four groups presented their projects and apps based on promotion of research, transforming workplace-based teaching, improving student relations and helping them organise their studies.

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