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“Youth of today, you have the technology in your hands, you are the most powerful generation that human history has ever had.”

This is what Dr. Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner, told us with great faith and confidence during the International Youth to Youth Summit in Lithuania and I will not deny, that left no one indifferent.

I say it emphatically and with great conviction: we live in a world where information can change or even save many lives. We live in a world where the digital humanitarian [1] is as important as traditional one. The Internet of Things and big data are the heart of this digital revolution and it is a pity to not benefit from its development.

To briefly define the Internet of Things, let’s take a very simple example: Imagine your refrigerator automatically detects that there is no more milk and automatically orders a new pint? Imagine that your central heating system knows where you are, and activates the heater only when you are on your way home. Communication between humans is revolutionized by technological advance, but the Internet of Things go much further and reserves a place for objects to have a digital identity and communicate with each other and with us. [2]


Development of the tool in a very friendly atmosphere at the laboratory VIC KTH


Now imagine if we apply all this to the broad area of ​​health? You see the infinite number of revolutions that can be achieved? I had the honor and privilege to develop one at the KTH University in Sweden. Three brightest computer students of different nationalities and backgrounds, we teamed up with a Swedish startup Evothings. Representatives from the medical innovation community provided us with real-life problems from the healthcare domain and we developed in the laboratory KTH VIC an Internet of things tool to automatically notify the nearest doctor on his smartphone when a patient falls out of bed or made an accidental fall. Indeed, nothing that in the United States, somewhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people fall in the hospital., most primarily the elderly and this can have very serious consequences and even cause death. [3]

We were equipped with the Texas Instruments sensors which give information on the change of humidity, pressure, temperature, all this in addition to the integrated accelerometer and gyroscope. [4] We then, developed a sophisticated algorithm to differentiate a real fall of a natural movement. If a fall is detected, a notification is immediately sent to the nearest doctor’s smartphone to act quickly, giving him both the patient’s location and its degree drop. It is obviously very important to think about the ergonomics of the sensor to not interfere with the patient and more importantly, to not make him reluctant about wearing it.


Its very small size, water resistancy and discretion encourage patients not to go without.   Obviously, we have treated a small part of what the Internet of Things can offer us in the health field. We can unleash our imagination about the kind of vital information that can be gathered automatically from patients and treat them in the most efficient and fastest way possible by placing sensors on the patients themselves, or on objects with which they interact (drug pill box, doors, taps, levers etc. ..).


The sensor used for the development of our application (Texas Instruments) [4]

We presented this tool at two hospitals in Stockholm, and it was received with great enthusiasm. The feasibility of this project on a large scale is still under study.   It is true that in the laboratory of KTH Stockholm, we had access to enormous resources with assistance from both researchers and medical representative. But if you asked me whether it have been possible to develop this project in Tunisia, I would answer without hesitation, and I would say a big, unconditional and excited “Yes” of course!   Tunisian young people are full of enthusiasm, creativity and desire to learn. I am convinced that the lack of resources put at their disposal mainly for financial reasons, only increases their creativity to overcome this situation. Now if I tell you that three young Tunisians made a 100% Tunisian aircraft, it is impressive, isn’t it? You would certainly agree that it is even more impressive if you know that they made it in their home garage and with very few resources. [5]

It is true that in the past, Tunisia has not provided the necessary framework and environment for its young prodigies, but I am convinced that after the revolution, many things have changed and many initiatives have been taken. Tunisia is increasingly aware that its young people want to shine at their home country and implement their projects in their own land. This is evidenced by the the young Tunisian inventor who designed a battery that charges in only 50 seconds and was motivated to invent this product in service to his country. It is more necessary than ever that Tunisia believes and supports more its talents and rewards for people’s ingenuity, passion and love for their country. I am optimistic that after the revolution, the commands are in the hands of young skilled people and Tunisia began to take real initiatives.

Recently, Tunisia is the world’s leader in using block chain technology for its virtual currency, an innovation that may have significant financial resources and provides more opportunities for young people. [6] Being the pioneer in this field and taking such an initiative shows that Tunisia is ready for real change and that technology will pave the way. Indeed, the health sector in Tunisia has distinguished and renowned doctors, which explains the growth of medical tourism in this country. [7] Integrating the latest technologies and upgrading its equipment will maintain this reputation and ensure further growth of its economy.

Yassine Harzallah, the NEF Ambassador for Tunisia, is currently studying towards a Master’s degree in Computer Science at INSA Lyon, one of the highest-ranking and most selective public engineering schools in France. He was selected as one of 60 ambassadors worldwide to represent Africa in the Youth to Youth Summit Lithuania focused on the « Role of Youth in Solving Global Challenges and Bridging Gaps among Nations » and has been awarded by International Rotary for serving as the founding and prominent member of the Interact Club Monastir Tunisia. Yassine enjoys applying his programming skills to make a difference in the world and tackle a variety of global challenges. Demonstrating his passion to learn in an international environment, he previously participated in Internet Of Things (IoT) Tool Development at KTH Stockholm, where he developed an IoT tool of fall detection called NFA (Never Fall Again), which was presented to two hospitals in Stockholm. Mr. Harzallah led the TEDx INSA logistics team. He is also highly creative and innovative, securing an award for the Best Start-up idea at Prezi Hungary.


[1] http://www.digital-humanitarians.com/

[2] http://www.nature.com/news/society-build-digital-democracy-1.18690

[3] http://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/publications/files/fallpxtoolkit.pdf

[4] http://www.ti.com/tool/cc2541dk-sensor#0

[5] http://www.tunisia-live.net/2014/01/22/made-in-tunisia-plane-shown-off-in-sousse/

[6] http://dcebrief.com/tunisia-becomes-first-nation-to-put-nations-currency-on-a-blockchain/

[7] http://www.iace.tn/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/jes2012_tourisme_medical.pdf