Working in partnership with MedtalkZ, JCSE presents a series of webinars on the subject “Medical Technology: How to Innovate in the Midst of a Pandemic“. 

Webinar #2 has the title “New Ways of Doing Research“.

Date: 25th June 2020 @ 7:30pm

About this Event

Part 2 of our “Medical Technology: How to Innovate in the Midst of a Pandemic” webinar series. In this free webinar we focus on how to do research. We draw on lessons that the medical world can learn from the tech world.

We start with an case study describing some cutting edge research that is being done in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic. This will be followed by a discussion on the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI)  and Machine Learning (ML) in the context of medical research.

We conclude with a session on ethics. We discuss the ethics of not sharing information that could benefit mankind in the midst of the current pandemic.

Who Should Attend

Medical professionals with innovative ideas; engineers and software developers; investors and funders; anyone with an interest in learning about innovation and entrepreneurship.

Meet the Presenters

Presentation 1: Research and learning in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Presenter#1: Prof David Rubin (Wits) 

David Rubin is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is the Leader of the Biomedical Engineering Research Group and Director of the Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Programme. David graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Pretoria. He has a Diploma in Anaesthetics from the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. He has a masters degree in Biomedical Engineering from UNSW and is a specialist Nuclear Medicine Physician (FCNP(SA) and MMed(Wits)). His research interests include Medical Imaging, Systems Science in Clinical Medicine and a wide range of novel engineering approaches to clinical diagnostics and therapeutics. David teaches medical imaging to biomedical engineering students and he also developed the System Dynamics course for medical students at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Presenter #2: Prof Diane Hilderbrandt (UNISA)

Diane Hildebrandt is the Director of the Institute for the Development of Energy for African Sustainability (IDEAS) and a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of South Africa. She is also a Member of the Council of the University of Johannesburg. She is a B1 rated researcher by the NRF. Diane is also the Director of the newly formed Comprehensive Biomass Utilization Laboratory at the Hebei University of Science and Technology (HBUST), China. Her research area is the design of energy efficient processes and equipment, with the view to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from chemical processes.

Presentation 2: The role of AI/ML in medical research and innovation.

Presenter: Dr Aisha Walcott-Bryant (IBM Research Africa Lab)

Dr Aisha Walcott-Bryant is a research scientist and manager at IBM Research, Africa and leads a team of researchers and engineers who are working on transformational innovations in global health and development while advancing the state of the art in AI, Blockchain, and other technologies. She and her team are engaged in projects in Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), Family Planning (FP), disease intervention planning, and water access and management. Dr Walcott-Bryant earned her PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. She is passionate about healthcare, interactive systems, and on addressing Africa’s diverse challenges.


Presentation 3: The ethics of “keeping secrets” and not sharing information in the midst of a pandemic.

Presenter #1: Prof Charles Feldman (Wits)

Professor Charles Feldman is an intensivist pulmonologist who obtained a PhD and DSc from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a National Research Council of South Africa A-rated Scientist and has more than 380 publications in books, book chapters, and in both indexed and DE accredited peer reviewed journals. He has been an active member of the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of the Witwatersrand and has a keen interest in ethical issues, particularly as they relate to Critical Care.

Presenter #2: Dr Debbie Pearmain (Independent Legal Expert)

Dr Debbie Pearmain is currently an independent legal consultant. She is a legal expert in both the public and private health sectors having served on a number of Ministerial task teams including the Ministerial Advisory Committee on NHI and the Medicines Pricing Committee as well as legal advisor to the Minister of Health. She has served as a member of the Council for Medical Schemes by appointment. She has a BA LLB and a doctorate in health law and has authored two legal textbooks, Foundational Principles of South African Medical Law and the Law on Medical Schemes in South Africa.

Date and Venue

Thursday 25th June 2020 at 7:30pm

Via Zoom


Resources available before and after event

Presentation 1: Research and learning in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Presenters: Prof David Rubin (Wits) and Prof Diane Hildebrandt (UNISA)

Presentation 2: The role of AI/ML in medical research and innovation.

Presenter: Dr Aisha Walcott-Bryant (IBM Research Africa Lab)