Nanofellowship alumni health start-up inspired by childhood stories

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

As a child, 2016 Nanofellowship awardee Youssef Helwa (BASc ’15, nanotechnology engineering, MASc ’17, electrical engineering from UWaterloo) was mesmerized by his mother’s stories about the patients she cared for as a surgeon.

Those conversations became the inspiration for NERv Technology Inc., a Kitchener-based company he founded with fellow UWaterloo alumnus Amr Abdelgawad (BASc ’16, nanotechnology engineering, MBET ’17 from UWaterloo) that is developing a smart monitoring system to alert healthcare providers to possible complications following abdominal surgery.

“The best way to comprehend the problem is to think about the operative care journey for patients,” Helwa said. “Patients come out of surgery, and unfortunately, a subset of these patients end up developing some sort of complication. They start becoming sick with symptoms, and the doctors have to start playing the game of investigating why these patients are feeling sick.”

NERv’s smart monitoring system removes some of that guesswork by helping caregivers identify leaks, bleeds or potential infections early. Detecting these silent issues before the onset of symptoms allows the healthcare provider to intervene before the complication becomes critical.

Go to Waterloo startup testing nanotechnology to reach better postoperative patient outcomes for the full story.