Microsoft Arabia employee acknowledged by the Guinness World Records

Man standing in front of a Microsoft logo

Microsoft Arabia is celebrating Senior Technical Account Manager, Mansour Al-Mansour, who achieved a Guinness World Record for his participation in the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones’ Hajj Hackathon.

With 2,950 participants, the Hajj Hackathon broke the record for the Largest Hackathon in the World – a feat previously held by an event hosted in India in 2012.

Hosted in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 31 July – 3 August 2018, the event tasked software developers and IT enthusiasts from around the world with proposing new ways to make the Hajj – the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca – a more comfortable experience for those who participate.

At the end of the event, certificates from the Guinness World Records for Participation in the Largest Hackathon in the World were handed to developers who completed the event and proposed the best solutions. Mansour, who developed an end-to-end healthcare solution that improves emergency healthcare for Hajjis, was one of the recipients.

Using technology to achieve more

Though Mansour, a former developer with a master’s degree in E-Commerce and bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, participated in the Hajj Hackathon as an entrepreneur, his efforts speak to Microsoft’s vision to empower every person and organisation on the planet achieve more using technology.

Using the app Mansour created, pilgrims can connect to healthcare workers in real-time via built-in video calling capabilities. The app works concurrently with the Electronic Medical Record System to enable doctors and nurses to immediately access Hajjis’ health records. It also facilitates transport for pilgrims to hospitals and organises delivery of emergency medication to them using drones.

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Because Hajj brings more than 2 million people together, it can present challenges for healthcare workers to provide the best possible service to large numbers of patients with limited resources on hand. What Mansour’s app does is it enables Hajjis to consult their preferred doctor, receive emergency medication that may not be available on site and be transported to an emergency healthcare centre at a quicker rate than was previously possible.

“This is the power of innovation. It is creating new possibilities across all walks of life,” Mansour says, adding that his healthcare solution aligns with the digital transformation vision outlined in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Beyond the recognition

It’s no surprise that Mansour has received interest from potential investors looking to get involved in bringing his award-winning idea to life. “I’ve turned down the offers I’ve received thus far as I’m waiting for the perfect agreement that is mutually beneficial,” he says.

In the meantime, Mansour continues to improve the app. “I am now adding additional features such as built-in digital wallets that enable Hajjis to make financial transactions across different currencies.”

And while he is thankful for the recognition he has received, he is ready to achieve more. In fact, he is currently pursuing a diploma in FinTech from New York University. “I am inspired to take what I have learned and apply it in my dealings with present and future customers,” he concludes

Two men standing and talking on stage

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