RSU and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences student team wins "i-Days" hackathon
Last week, students from all over Latvia met at the i-Days hackathon organised by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology Health Community (EIT Health) and Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU), at which they searched for ideas to preventive health. The highest score of the hackathon jury was awarded to the team Echelon, which was made up of students from Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences.
The Echelon team was composed of four young people who came together during the event. They developed an idea for a device that constantly monitors seniors' health data and sends an alert to the contacts linked to the program, such as the user's children, in case of significant deviations.
The solution that the team developed differs from other similar tools that are already on the market by its wide set of indicators and a built-in voice recognition solution, which would both allow for the identification of a crisis situation and to recognise a call for help, as well as to establish communication with the patient.
The members of the winning team agree that cooperation with students from other academic fields and new contacts was the biggest benefit of the event.
'The ideation process during the hackathon and the resulting victory proves what previously unacquainted but determined students can achieve together.
Each of the team members had their own experience and unique contribution to the idea,"
said Shashwat Anirudh, who is a 3rd year student of the RSU Dentistry programme and was teamed up with RSU students Adriano Fedele (Dentistry, 4th year) and Monta Miškina (Psychology, 2nd year), as well as Inese Zariņa, Master’s student from Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences.
At the end of November, the team will go to the European finals in Barcelona, where they will represent Latvia and present their idea at the i-Days European competition.
Students full of creative ideas
82 students from 13 different universities, including foreign exchange students, took part in the Latvian i-Days event. Working in teams, students came up with ideas such as a personalised nutrition plan, an examination algorithm and tool to improve oral health, assistants for successful pregnancy, etc.
'The students' ideas have a lot of potential to improve the state of public health or to contribute to the prevention of serious diseases,'
said Baiba Pētersone, director of the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) International Department and head of the EIT Health RIS Hub in Latvia at RSU.
Over the course of two days, participants listened to lectures by industry professionals, were inspired by success stories, participated in training sessions, and received help from mentors to create innovative solutions.
RSU students have also proved themselves in the past
Last year, the winner of the i-Days hackathon was E-med space, a team of students from the International Marketing and Advertising Bachelor's programme of the Faculty of European Studies at RSU. The team had the opportunity to participate in the European final in Vienna (Austria). They developed an idea for a digital app that stores all the examination data (medical history) and, using artificial intelligence, reminds the human patient about mandatory vaccinations and annual visits to the specialist, as well as warns about possible health problems and diseases based on the family medical history.
While the 2021 hackathon was won by the five-member team No Trace, No Spills, captained by RSU medical student Priya Gnanasekaran. The team came up with a solution for packaging health-friendly and innovative products that help avoid diseases caused by food poisoning. The packaging consists of safe and environmentally friendly sensors that can detect toxins released by bacteria, fungi and other microbial agents and inform consumers.
i-Days offers students the opportunity to participate in the development of innovative healthcare ideas at various EIT Health events across Europe. During the events, participants gain in-depth insights into healthcare issues, learn about the latest innovations in the health sector and compete in teams to solve real-life problems. The EIT Health RIS Hub in Latvia has been located at RSU since January 2019.