Kebalepile has reached the semi-final phase through his invention of a medical diagnostic instrument called the Asthma Grid. The device is an early warning system that predicts threats of impending asthma attacks. The device has nanosensors that measure environmental parameters such as pollutants, oxygen saturation, allergens, and other elements in real time. Taking these elements into account, it computes the likelihood of an asthma attack. Another notable feature is a pressure-sensitive blood sampler that can profile the respiratory spasms the sufferer is experiencing at any given time. The device can also be used by clinicians and, when presented with the instrument, they can analyse the user’s compliance over time.

On the Expresso show last year, Kebalepile said that he was inspired by his younger brother’s diagnosis of the disease and the opportunity of being a part of the UP research group that focuses on asthma.

Through the use of Kebalepile’s device, asthma sufferers and their primary caregivers will not be caught off guard should an asthma incident occur and, as a result, preventable asthma deaths can be avoided. According to a report by the Global Initiative for Asthma, South Africa has the world’s fourth highest asthma death rate among 5 to 35 year olds.

To enter, an application has to be submitted online that consists of an executive summary and promotional video. These applications are analysed by experts, followed by a voting period that is open to the public. Thirty finalists are shortlisted through this voting process and receive a trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Silicon Valley. Here they have the opportunity to demonstrate their entries while receiving comprehensive training. The winners of the GIST Tech-I Competition, who are selected at the GES, will then be awarded prizes as well as mentorship and further training from experts in their fields.

Voting opened on 1 April and will close on 1 May. Voters are able to view his work and vote for Kebalepile at www. GistNetwork.org/Tech-I/vote