Mohammad Alabra told Boris Plantier how Mashrou3na is using artificial intelligence technology to make a difference in the lives of autistic children.
Jordan-based startup Mashrou3na focuses on applying technology to help autistic children, their parents and their communities. The company was launched in 2017, but the idea had been building for much longer than that. “In 2008, the idea of treating autism through virtual reality (VR) began with a research study that came from the proximity to the center of autism and saw their experiences,” says Mohammad Alabra, general manager of Mashrou3na.
Realizing the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to treat autism, Alabra spent years trying to persuade authorities to set up a company in this field. In 2017 technology development and lower costs – along with the right team of experts – made it the right time to establish Mashrou3na.
“Mashrou3na offers a unique and creative approach for treating autism,” says Alabra. “The Mashrou3na System is an integrated system built around artificial intelligence (AI), which can learn and adapt to each autistic child’s set of needs and help them learn, develop and interact. It provides a low-cost, safe environment with privacy, continuous treatment and statistics.”
The company is integrating multiple technologies to provide human centered, customizable solutions to support autistic children, their families and therapists. “We are developing software that creates harmony between different technologies such as virtual reality; augmented reality; communication tools; a picture exchange communication system; digital sensory room with hologram; digital sensory kit and connectivity over the internet of things,” says Alabra. “All these technologies are connected to an intelligent, full-text database that employs AI, interacting with the autism spectrum disorder to ensure that returned items (hits) contain the most relevant information possible. This contrasts with a traditional database, which is searchable only by keywords and verbatim phrases. This harmony with full detailed autism spectrum disorder profile allows the system and therapists to make the right decisions.”
As momentum continues to build, there are exciting times ahead for Mashrou3na’s multidisciplinary team of experts. “We are looking to start our first round of fundraising,” says Alabra. “We plan to implement our solutions in Jordan by September 2018, and we are working towards Demo Day in Oman.”