Kenyan USIU Students Win Ksh12 Million in US Competition
Four students from the United States International University (USIU) have trounced 2 million other applicants worldwide to emerge victors in a competition organised by the Microsoft Corporation.
According to the management of the programme dubbed Microsoft Imagine World Cup, the four, through their innovation REWEBA, emerged victorious following the ingenuity of their invention in saving people’s lives.
The team won Ksh 7.5 million ($75,000), a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and a Ksh5 million ($50,000) Microsoft Azure grant. The total comes to Ksh12.5 million.
REWEBA, which stands for Remote Well Baby, is a digital equipment that monitors the growth of babies and sends results to doctors in case of an abnormality.
“It combines machine learning, IoT and data analytics to screen infants, mimicking postnatal screening that takes place in a hospital,” reads a description of the technology from Tech Republic.
The team consists of four members including Dharmik Karania, Jeet Gohil, Khushi Gupta and Abdihamid Ali. They are all from Nairobi and are in the fourth year at USIU pursuing a degree in Computer Science.
One of the team members, Gupta, disclosed that they were inspired to develop the economy in order to offer equal access to healthcare and limit infant mortality rates.
“Africa has the highest number of [infant mortalities], highlighting the gap in healthcare services. REWEBA is the only remote healthcare solution that provides regular growth monitoring for infants from the comfort of the home, while also giving direct access to doctors for immediate intervention,” stated Gupta.
In the initial stages of the competition, 40 teams applied but only four proceeded to finals.
Other teams that progressed included Protag from New Zealand that a smart ear tag for livestock that can detect the early onset of illness in real-time – lowering costs and increasing welfare.
Others were Hand-on Labs which is a set of remote laboratories that allow students to observe and remotely control physical tools online in real-time for their courses while Threeotech developed a web application for content creators to create sign language captions to improve media accessibility for hard of hearing viewers.
The competition often seeks to challenge innovators to develop an idea that tackles a local or global issue in one of four competition categories: Earth, Education, Healthcare, and Lifestyle.