UJ’s Prof Habib Noorbhai explores the role of AI in sports science and health education

On April 17, 2023, Professor Habib Noorbhai was inaugurated as a Professor in Health and Sports Science at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). During the event, Prof. Noorbhai delivered a keynote address titled “From the corridor of uncertainty to cover drives for impact: Through a Sport, Health and AI lens,” where he discussed two broad areas: cricket science and health education and innovation.

Cricket Science: Factors Contributing to Batting Success

In his address, Prof. Noorbhai discussed the factors and determinants contributing to cricket batting success, with a specific focus on the batting backlift – an important component of a cricket batter’s technique. He provided an understanding of why sports performances have improved over the century and what the future of sports science might become in the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Health Innovation: Educational Technology and Mixed Realities

Prof. Noorbhai also showcased his work in the health innovation field with a particular optic on educational technology and mixed realities. He discussed the use of gamification and Virtual Reality (VR) in the health sciences to ignite diversified assessment pedagogies and supercharge clinical reasoning and practical skills for aspiring health professionals.

Future Research Directions

During the inauguration, Prof. Noorbhai also summarised his future research directions in the areas of cricket science, health education, and health innovation. He plans to use various technologies to answer critical research questions in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

Prof. Noorbhai is a registered Biokineticist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). He was named among Mail & Guardians top 200 Young South Africans in 2015 and won the coveted title of Mr South Africa in 2017. He used the platform to spearhead activities within the sport, health, and education spheres.

Prof. Noorbhai has worked at several universities, working across all academic ranks from lecturer to professor. He is also the Director of the Biomedical Engineering and Healthcare Technology (BEAHT) Research Centre, which he founded at UJ in 2020. In 2021, Prof. Noorbhai was awarded the Distinguished Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teacher Excellence at UJ.

Prof Noorbhai addressed UJ Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation, Professor Saurabh Sinha and the Executive Dean (Acting) of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Annie Temane, and invited guests. Following the keynote address by Prof. Noorbhai, there was a brief response by Professor Tim Noakes, Emeritus Professor (Sports Science), and Chief Medical Director: Nutrition Network.

Watch the inauguration here:

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