Technology is helping advance all areas that were once dominated by conventional methods. Medicine is no exception. Startup Guide Pakistan talked to Sohaib Imtiaz who is working on Owaves: an app that helps optimize general health while focusing on circadian biology.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I was born in Cork, Ireland and have lived in the UK, but have very close ties to Islamabad. I graduated from medical school in 2017, having spent 5 years doing medicine and taking a year out to do a Masters in public health and a further year out to study at Imperial College Business School. I have also been fortunate to take part in Harvard Business School’s first live MBA classroom experience. Having a passion for health I chose to apply for medicine instead of computer science. I went against the grain and declined my offer to study medicine at the University of Cambridge and chose to study in Manchester where I live, as the course was more flexible.
I am very interested in technology and healthcare and I am currently part of the first cohort of UK doctors to be selected as an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur fellow, where I am being trained in Innovation, future technologies and digital health. I am also obsessed with health and wellness and recently became part of the first cohort of doctors in the UK to be board certified in Lifestyle Medicine. I am working for a start-up called Owaves in San Diego as the VP of Innovation. Owaves is an app, which helps you optimize your health and focuses on circadian biology.
Your area of work is quite unique, what made you decide to opt for it?
I have always considered myself health obsessed and a biohacker as well as someone who loves statistics statistics, tech and self-quantification. Therefore, it was a natural fit for me to be a part of the two new movements in healthcare of digital health and lifestyle medicine. My interests are quite broad in neuroscience, behavioural economics, exercise/nutrition/ sleep, data, artificial intelligence, virtual reality etc. My passion made me opt for this. I’m always reading about the latest wellness trends coupled with strengths in statistical and technological subjects allowed me to envision this.
I hoped the convergence of technology and health would occur, as I am someone who is very data centric. I have always been quite innovative and a bit of a risk taker. I wanted to learn a broad range of subjects to be a multi hyphenate and I guess it’s paying off. I think Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen is someone who inspires me and his work motivated me to become a ‘disruptor’.
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