What inspired you to found Qardian Labs?
The idea grew out of a science project I developed using artificial intelligence software to improve heart disease risk evaluation. I was shocked to learn that 1 in 3 people are misdiagnosed with heart disease, and according to the CDC, 80% of heart disease deaths could have been prevented. I was taking a class on data analysis and predictive technology at the time, and saw the opportunity to apply my knowledge.
What does your future look like? What do you plan to do?
We are looking to continue clinical validation through pilot testing with university sports programs and health systems. Qardian is currently part of the Sync Space, CO.LAB, and Project Healthcare accelerators where we are working with potential partners. Qardian’s future plans center on expanding our software platform to integrate with existing clinical workflow. From a broader perspective, Qardian’s future involves improving health outcomes by flagging people at risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by the desire to solve problems and improve patient outcomes. Healthcare is such a huge field with so much room for change, especially with the rise of artificial intelligence-based decision support technology. I believe that these technologies can provide insight into complex medical mysteries and help doctors make more informed decisions. This potential to save lives is a driving force behind my interest in deep learning and desire to continue growing Qardian.
What is the best piece of advice have you received that has helped you be successful?
Take chances and toss your ideas out there. Following this advice led me to receive an Air Force STTR grant to continue developing Qardian’s echocardiogram evaluation software. I came across a solicitation shortly before the deadline, and even though I thought I had a very low chance of receiving the grant, I decided to apply. Thanks to that, I received the grant, improved Qardian’s software platform, and established a productive partnership.
What do you do in your free time?
I am currently working on a community initiative called YEET: Youth Education and Empowerment Together that provides peer-to-peer mental health support for LGBTQ youth. I also enjoy nature journaling and photography.
Who was your role model and/or inspiration?
My role model is the philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt.
What is your favorite podcast at the moment?
99 percent invisible.
How has your life and daily routines changed as a result of COVID-19?
All my classes have been virtual, but my experience with UT has been fantastic throughout.
If you could know the absolute truth to one question, what would you ask?
What could end injustice?
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
50 Foot Queenie, by PJ Harvey.
In your opinion, who do you think is the most impressive person in the world right now, and why?
Right now, I am more impressed by movements than individual people.
What advice do you have for fellow or younger students?
Keep being persistent and find people you can learn from. If you have an idea you are passionate about, no matter how small it may seem, always believe that you have the potential to make an impact.