BY ALBERT NYAKUNDI
FOUR students from the United States International University-Africa have emerged winners in an annual global technology competition.
All are from the school of Science and Technology pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees in Applied Computer Technology.
The annual event is organized by giant software’s developer, Microsoft Corporation and seeks to challenge students to use technology to solve complex problems.
According to a congratulatory message posted in the university’s website and official Facebook account, the team won a grand prize worth USD75,000 (KES. 8,058,750) in this year’s 19th edition of Imagine Cup competition.
The quartet Khushi Gupta, Jeet Gohil, Dharmik Karania and Abdihamid Ali designed an Internet of Things (IoT)-based infant monitoring solution under the healthcare category.
Other categories in the social good categories included Earth, Education, and Lifestyle.
All the four categories attracted thousands of students from one hundred and sixty-three nations.
The technology analyzes infant parameters during post-natal screening and serves as an early warning intervention system.
It digitally monitors babies’ health information and sends it to doctors for timely intervention.
The students’ invention dubbed REWEBA (Remote Well Baby) aims at solving health issues faced by infants and poor mothers from the sub-saharan region.
The team received an additional grant, Microsoft Azure Grant of USD50,000 (KES. 5,372,500) as well as a free mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
This year’s judges were Jocelyn Jackson, Enhao Li, and Toni Townes-Whitley.
According to a publication in Microsoft’s website the judges are innovation and industry experts spanning a variety of technology, diversity, start-up, and social impact backgrounds that align to the core of Imagine Cup’s mission.
One of the students, Khushi Gupta said Sub-Saharan Africa has a higher under five mortality rates globally.
“We can solve this problem using REWEBA, a remote infant monitoring system that can be used in marginalized areas thus giving everyone equal access to healthcare.” he said.
The team’s innovation was conceived during their internship program at a local hospital after they witnessed challenges faced by mothers which include traveling long distances to seek infant screening services.
The team intends to launch a start-up in Kenya to boost healthcare services in marginalized areas using the prize and grant cash.
USIU-Africa is the only university in East and Central Africa that has dual accreditation by both the Commission of Higher Education in Kenya and the Western Association of schools and colleges.
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