HBKU college studies AI use in detecting cardiovascular disease
April 12 2021 09:31 PM
From left: Mahmoud Refaee, Dr Tanvir Alam, Hamada al-Absi and Dr Mounir Hamdi
From left: Mahmoud Refaee, Dr Tanvir Alam, Hamada al-Absi and Dr Mounir Hamdi

Faculty at the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University are utilising artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms in the detection of cardiovascular disease (CVD) across Qatar’s population, according to a study published in the 'IEEE Xplore' journal.
The study is based on proven research at the World Health Organisation, which considers CVD a primary cause of deaths worldwide. In a recent report on noncommunicable diseases (NCD), the WHO said NCDs accounted for 71% of worldwide deaths in 2016 in which CVDs alone contributed to 44% of all deaths resulting from those NCDs.
According to the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar, CVD is a primary cause of death among the Qatari population.
The study infers that the CVD AI model is highly accurate with a 93% precision rate in distinguishing the CVD group from the control group within the dataset. The AI model is based on a pre-identified list of potential Qatar-specific novel risk factors which are linked to CVD comorbidities, including renal disorders, hypercoagulable states, and liver functions. Moreover, the inclusion of these factors has supported the performance of the AI model when compared to existing CVD risk score calculators for therosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease and Framingham.
Dr Tanvir Alam, an assistant professor at CSE and the key investigator in this study, said, “As part of the study, our students are utilising AI techniques in precision and personalized treatment plans for CVD patients. We believe that, with the proper training in AI and healthcare, our students can contribute significantly to the futuristic vision of personalised healthcare in Qatar. We invite our community of researchers and scientists to benefit from the important outcomes of our study.”
Dr Mounir Hamdi, founding dean of CSE, said, “CSE is proud to support the AI-based research work conducted at HBKU, which will drive important achievements in the healthcare sector nationally, as well as provide critical insights for this field of study.”
Hamada al-Absi, a CSE PhD student working on the study, said, “AI presents next-generation potential in the healthcare sector. As computational scientists, we are leveraging its power to help identify CVD risk factors and related comorbidities. We look forward to continuing our work and validating the research further in the clinical phase.”
Mahmoud Refaee, a Master of Data Analytics in Health Management student who is also involved in the study, said: “The model is a brilliant example of how AI can help health professionals with real-life problems.”
The College of Science and Engineering pioneers 13 state-of-the-art degrees spanning areas that are critical for national and regional growth across the bachelor’s, master’s and PhD levels. For more information about the work of CSE, one can visit cse.hbku.edu.qa.

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