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Nominated for Young Person award

Michael is an 18 year old who has overcome many barriers in his young life, yet turned adversity to advantage in his voluntary and academic work.

Losing his father to Parkinson’s at the age of 8 inspired him to create a social enterprise using artificial intelligence to successfully improve diagnosis. He’s used his knowledge to teach disadvantaged young people how to code and supported the government in its aims to improve mental health.

He has represented Wales in indoor and beach volleyball competitions, including the 2019 Junior Volleyball European Championships, and is training to represent Wales in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Aged 10, Michael was volunteering at the nursing home where his father had spent the last year of his life. In conversation with residents, he noticed a pattern of facial features in those with Parkinson’s. He approached university departments in computing, neurology, and biomedical science with his hypothesis, which was eventually taken seriously. Learning more about AI, he realised you could map the face - building an algorithm that would use a database of facial-images to find incongruences.

Michael taught himself to code and, over the past 8 years, used LinkedIn and Skype to assemble a team of developers, statisticians, and data-scientists across 3 continents and 8 time zones. Since then he’s diagnosed just under 1,200 people ­ receiving $250,000 in funding from Pfizer whilst testing the app­based technology in 90 GP clinics across England and Wales. He is currently at university, and plans to become a paediatric doctor.

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