• October 28, 2021

Manipal, April 8, 2020:Manipal Institute of Technology, engineering college of Manipal Academy of Higher Education added yet another feather to its cap.  A team comprising three of its students won the Covid19 Hackathon Organised by Massachusetts Institute OF Technology (MIT).

The students, Ms. Akshatha Kamath of Computer Science Engineering ,  Mr. ShubhamRateria ofComputer and CommunicationEngineering  and Mr. AdriRajaramanof Electronics and Communication Engineering of Batch of 19were declared winners in a 48 hour virtual event to help tackle the critical needs caused by the COVID -19 virus outbreak organised by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).The unique hackathon witnessed 1500 participants from 75+ countries and 250+ mentors.As per the challenge metrics, they had teamed up with withMelia Watson, Washington DC ( Respiratory therapist, MBA ), Hsiang Wei Hu, Taiwan ( Cofounder of Acusense Biomed) and MarianeMelo, U.K. ( M.D.) in their venture to win the hackathon, which was curated to explore possible solutions to the challenging scenarios emerging around the Globe due to Coronavirus.

This 48 hours’ of ‘Beat the Pandemic’ hackathon was primarily focused on two sections, ‘Protecting vulnerable populations’ and ‘Helping health systems’, where the participant teams had to identify and shortlist problems in order to generate relevant solutions. The team from Manipal Institute of Technology was declared as winners for their invention of Track-‘Who to test and when’,which is a ‘Tele Health’ platform for non-contact monitoring of vital signs. With this victory, they will now have an opportunity to co-develop and implement the pitched solution with the support of their partners and they look forward to improve the accuracy of the function, and incorporate it into Tele-medicine platforms.

This solution was against their identified problemof overcrowded hospitals with inappropriate admissions, whereas less than 5% of the average population under 50 years of age required hospitalisation. This one-of-a-kind non-contact monitoring platform allows to monitor vital signs, such as heart rate, respiratory rate and blood oxygen concentration using just a phone camera, or webcam from home. This was appreciated as the much required way to combat COVID situation amidst the grave situation like this.

Conducting multiple facets of concept proofs, prototypes, and preliminary vision for execution, they have successfully been able to stand out for providing the most appropriate and timely solution towards this pandemic scenario. Throughout the hackathon, several mentors with diverse expertise from across U.S. were present to improve the idea and business proposal. On Sunday, 5th of April 2020, the team reconvened to present their work in the form of a 3 min pitch followed by a Q and A session with the judges.

Sharing his happiness on the big win, Dr. D Srikanth Rao, Director , Manipal Institute of Technology said, “We are extremely delighted and proud of our students who have won the prestigious hackathon on the current COVID – 19 situation. Many of our students participate in unique hackathons and we at MIT always strive to provide the best exposure to students on all the prestigious platforms. We encourage students to be inquisitive, innovative and courageous in tackling the societal problems. It is heartening to see that students are making the most of culture of learning and development fostered in the institute”.

Link to competition website: https://covid19challenge.mit.edu/

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