https://www.epo.org/en/node/khaoula-ben-ahmed-ghofrane-ayari-souleima?mtm_campaign=EIA2024&mtm_keyword=pressrelease&mtm_medium=press

Khaoula Ben Ahmed, Ghofrane Ayari, Souleima Ben Temime and Sirine Ayari

​​Multi-mode controlled wheelchair technology​

Category
Young Inventors Prize
Technical field
Medical technology
Company
​​GEWINNER​
​​MOOVOBRAIN, an all-in-one smart wheelchair control solution that enables individuals with severe disabilities to navigate independently, has been developed by Khaoula Ben Ahmed, Ghofrane Ayari, Souleima Ben Temime, and Sirine Ayari.​

Second runner-up in the Young Inventors Prize

Around 1% of the world’s population, or an estimated 80 million people, are likely to require wheelchair for mobility assistance, a figure expected to rise with ageing populations and increases in chronic conditions. However, many users do not have full control of their upper body and have to rely on caregivers for mobility. To help overcome this issue, the young Tunisian inventors developed MOOVOBRAIN.

The technology provides a mobile application and an electronic interface that integrate seamlessly with existing electric wheelchairs, processing signals from a smartphone to guide movement. While several competing products offer one method of control, MOOVOBRAIN offers four distinct modes, catering to a wide range of disabilities. In ‘brain driving mode’ a helmet monitors electrical brain activity and eye movements, enabling users to command the wheelchair by focusing or blinking. In ‘grimace driving mode’, specific facial expressions offer control. Users can also navigate using spoken commands in ‘voice driving mode’ and, for those with limited muscle strength, ‘manual driving mode’ is possible via the app.

From personal inspiration to global impact

The inventors were inspired to create MOOVOBRAIN when Souleima Ben Temime's uncle suffered a severe heart attack, leaving him unable to move or communicate. As biomedical engineering students at the Higher Institute of Medical Technologies in Tunis, the four young women combined their expertise to develop a prototype within a year. Their passion for using technology for social good drove them to establish their startup, GEWINNER, in 2019.  Since then, the team has been awarded a Startup Act Label from the Tunisian government. This legal recognition grants various tax and social benefits to innovative scalable technologies.

MOOVOBRAIN has a life-changing impact on people who, ordinarily, would be entirely reliant on the assistance of a caregiver. “It affects their emotions as they feel more independent. It is just a simple action, but for them, it's a very big change in their lives," says Khaoula Ben Ahmed. Echoing these sentiments, Souleima Ben Temime explains the team’s motivation: "To see the impact that we're creating, and what we are capable of creating next, this is the fuel.”

Towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

GEWINNER’s versatile, user-centric solution comes at a more affordable price compared to competitors, which can cost over €6 500. By helping make independent mobility more accessible to a broader range of users, MOOVOBRAIN aligns with the SGD 3 (Good Health and Well-being) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities).