Student visionaries meet tech demand
An application that helps speed up the detection of amoebiasis in microscopic samples, and a smart toy that serves as a companion for kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—who would’ve guessed these to be ideas of 20-somethings straight out of college?
These tech-driven solutions won top prizes at the recent Program the Future (PTF): The Accenture Technology Campus Challenge, the professional services firm’s yearly competition that aims to spark innovation among Filipino college and university students by challenging them to design and build technology solutions for industries to help make a positive impact in society.
University of San Carlos Cebu bagged the top prize (P300,000) with their desktop-based app Parasight, developed by computer engineering students Robert Espina, 22; Alejandro Cansancio Jr., 21; Jerico James Gantuangco, 28; and Wincent Jarell Tan, 22. The app is designed to help medical technologists identify more quickly and accurately the microorganism entamoeba histolytica, the parasite responsible for amoebiasis.
According to the team—they call themselves “The Visionaries,” as they made the app because of their desire “to contribute positivity in our community”—Parasight will make use of artificial intelligence to aid medical technologists in detecting entamoeba histolytica.
Espina, the team’s leader, explains the process: “Parasight can detect the microorganism two ways: via image upload or real-time detection. If upload is chosen, an image of a patient’s stool sample is required.
The application runs an analysis of that image using region-based convolutional neural network, an object detection algorithm, which helps the system pull features from an input image in detection and classification of the amoeba parasite,” he says.
As a special honor, De La Salle University Lipa was chosen as PTF’s Technology Vision awardee for their personal therapy toy for children with ADHD, a stuffed bear called “Addie.” With facial recognition, hearing sensors and a sentiment analyzer (also known as emotion AI), Addie is designed to help assess how it will interact with its users and suggest treatment options for children with ADHD.
The toy’s developers, recent graduates Rachelle Perez and Gerard Badana, say they came up with the idea because of a friend’s sibling who is battling ADHD.
Ambe Tierro, Accenture’s senior managing director, advanced technology centers in the Philippines lead and global artificial intelligence delivery and capability lead, says the ideas developed by these students were a substantive response to the competition’s challenge: to develop tech not just for tech’s sake, but to create real solutions for different industries.
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