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Abel Perez: innovative IT for the greater good

Meet Abel Perez, a software engineer working on how technology can help improve health.

How long have you been working at The George Institute?

I joined The George Institute UK almost one year ago, in December 2014.

What attracted you to working at The George Institute?

I have been always interested in innovation and in working on projects which aim to improve the life quality of people. I have found at The George Institute the perfect environment for innovation, and to work on projects with a high impact on research, focused on helping people to improve their health.

What are you currently working on?

I am leading, from the engineering perspective, two projects. Support-HF, in collaboration with the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oxford, is a research project that aims to address issues related to the provision of care for patients with chronic heart failure, by developing and evaluating a simple monitoring and risk prediction system that patients can use effectively in their own homes.

Support-CVD (in collaboration with Tehran University of Medical Sciences) is a trial of low-cost, technology-assisted, integrated care delivery programme to prevent serious cardiovascular events in disadvantaged populations.

What is a recent highlight?

We recently started a pilot phase of Support-CVD in Iran. It’s a very exciting moment because we will be able to test the IT solution we have developed in the last year in a real environment.

What difference will this make to healthcare and why?

Mobile technologies can collect data from trial subjects anywhere and anytime. They allow researchers to remotely interact with patients and improve communication, monitor trial compliance and help keep trial participants involved. Indeed they may revolutionise healthcare, with positive outcomes for patients and clinicians, as well as financial benefits; as it provides great potential to decrease costs.

What is your professional background?

I have a degree in Computer Science Engineering and a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Intelligence. I also hold several official certifications of project management. I have 13 years of experience in the software development industry, working on big scale projects related to Smart Cities for the public sector. My expertise is essentially to use technology for designing and managing the development of IT solutions with high levels of innovation, in order to produce a positive impact in society.

Why do you enjoy working at The George Institute?

Essentially because I am within a great team! I can learn from everyone everyday, particularly from Kazem Rahimi. It’s great to work in an environment where collaboration and commitment are the main pillars to success. In addition, the projects we work on have a high impact on research. For me, these are the most motivating aspects of my job.

To explain to people what I do I say…

I design and build IT solutions to support clinical trials on cardiovascular diseases.

I work at The George Institute because…

I found a perfect work environment, a place where I can learn and use my creativity to contribute to designing high quality, efficient and innovative solutions.

To unwind at the end of the day I…

I love to pick up my son from the school and to cook the dinner while I listen to all the things he did during the day.

My first job was…

Junior Developer. I used to develop commercial websites for two years. At that early stage I learnt (among many other things) the importance of a good design and an optimal user experience on any software project.

My biggest achievement so far...

To be able to enjoy in my job. Every day.