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  • Ignacio Hernández Medrano and Luz Rello encourage young people to change the world

FPdGi Awards

Ignacio Hernández Medrano and Luz Rello encourage young people to change the world

The neurologist and the linguist explain how they achieved their success in a dialogue moderated by Antonella Broglia


In the presence of approximately 400 young people attending the ‘Talent rescuers’ annual meeting, neurologist and cofounder and CEO of Savana, Ignacio Hernández Medrano, and linguist and founder of Change Dyslexia and 2016 FPdGi Social Award winner, Luz Rello, revealed how they managed to carve out their successful careers which, in addition, contribute towards building a fairer society.

In a dialogue entitled ‘I want to be like them. Two entrepreneurs who inspire us, face to face’, moderated by Ashoka Spain ambassador Antonella Broglia, the two guests detailed how and why they created their respective companies.

Rello remembered that when she was a child she was obsessed with spelling mistakes because she “hated” her errors. A fixation that, when she grew up, led her to analyse the spelling mistakes made by people who, like her, have dyslexia. “We discovered that the spelling mistakes people with dyslexia made followed certain patterns which revealed a great deal about dyslexia that we didn’t know before” she explained during the dialogue.

Later, in 2011, she decided to mix the linguistic patterns she had identified with automatic learning to detect dyslexia through a game “and it worked!”. “And now we have conducted a study and we have proved that, using the games we have created, we have managed to improve many students’ dyslexia” she highlighted.

Hernández Medrano, in turn, talked about how one day he decided to close his neurological practice to travel to Silicon Valley (California, USA) to learn about artificial intelligence. When he returned he set up, together with two partners, the company Savana: a large medical database that allows users to predict clinical events, evaluate health results and take decisions in real time based on best practices.

Prediction is the accumulation of data and this had never been done in the medical world until now” emphasised the neurologist, who pointed out that what his company does is “apply technology that transforms medical histories into data so that we can then predict the future”. And he gave a practical example: “A doctor who has to prescribe an anticoagulant can find out the exact dose a patient needs thanks to our system”.

Both Rello and Hernández encouraged young people to change everything they don’t like. “You don’t have to be a genius, just dedicate time and energy to changing things” insisted the neurologist, who also reminded the audience of the importance of “rest and down time”. On this subject, Rello confessed that she ended up in an intensive care unit due to overwork. “I am learning, but it is very important to stop and above all to take care of yourself”.

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