Arthur Zang is listening to the heartbeat of Africa. His tablet-computer heart monitor, the Cardio Pad, promises to revolutionize cardiac medicine not only in his home country of Cameroon, but across Africa. All he needs to deliver cardiac care to the remotest parts of Cameroon is mobile phone network coverage.
Zang grew up in Mbankomo, a town 22 kilometres from Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé. It had no running water and the electricity supply was intermittent. “During that time I learned to make do with little,” he says.
Making it to university to study computer engineering in Yaoundé, he became fascinated by the potential of computers to change lives. From his disadvantaged beginnings, he drew the motivation to solve problems that would leave humanity better off.
Zang felt he could best serve his country by improving the health of its people. Conscious of the rising toll from heart disease caused by changing lifestyles and the difficulty of getting a reliable early diagnosis – especially in rural communities – he has designed a robust, portable, low-cost way to measure heart health, anywhere, any time. In 2014, his invention inspired U.S. business magazine Forbes to list Zang among the “30 most promising entrepreneurs in Africa”.
“I’m sensitive to the problems of other people. I’m an engineer and a researcher, but I want to use those skills for the benefit of others.”