IT applications from international competition can help save lives

1. 3. 2023Ivana Macnarová

Students from FIT CTU and their team colleagues designed a unique life-saving applications as part of the European Healthcare Hackathon (EHH), an international competition organized by CEE Hacks in cooperation with IKEM. The first application was related to the individual detection of ECG abnormalities in each patient. The second application was about providing the fastest possible first aid. More than 700 applicants from 24 countries applied for the EHH, and only 200 of them were invited to the hackathon, where they competed in seven challenges, and FIT CTU students and their teams took the top places in two of them.

Bc. Michal Šolc is a student of FIT CTU who combines his studies with work for DataSentics, from which were his SenticBrain team colleagues Jiří Stodůlka and Matěj Čermák too. They chose the Data Analysis as a Lifesaver challenge and won it. They focused on detecting anomalies in the ECG measurements from the Apple smartwatches. The main added value of the whole solution is its personalization. Patients with heart problems have ECG measurements with different values from the rest of the population, and traditional algorithms to detect anomalies fail. Even what is the norm for such a patient is detected as an abnormality. The winning team’s SenticsBrain model can adapt to this and looks at each patient individually. As a result, the proposed algorithm detects abnormalities in each patient’s ECG measurements individually and sends only the real abnormalities to the doctor.

This category was announced by EHH partner Edward Lifesciences, which awarded the winning SenticsBrain team with a grant for the future development of the solution. Edward Lifesciences is a world leader in manufacturing artificial heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring. Edward Lifesciences cooperates with doctors in developing innovative technologies in structural heart diseases and critical care monitoring that enable them to save and help improve lives. The SenticsBrain team’s winning solution has the potential to monitor patients who receive an artificial heart valve, specifically through their Apple smartwatches. With the solution, there would be no need to use expensive devices that are not affordable for everyone and monitoring a disproportionately larger number of patients would be possible.

Ľuboš Repka is a student of FIT CTU, and he also combines his studies with work in the Mild Blue med-tech startup, from which are also his colleagues from the successful hackathon team Mgr. Tomáš Pavlín and Ing. Jan Skála. The team chose the Summon Help Now challenge, which was about developing an application to ensure the fastest possible first aid, as well as InterSystems’ bonus challenge, which was about integrating Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). With their application proposal, they won second place in this bonus challenge. The application brings together registered first responders who have committed to help. The uniqueness of the solution is in the involvement of rescuers trained in first aid and resuscitation training on the one hand, and on the other hand, the involvement of people without training as “runners”, who are tasked to pick up an automated external defibrillator (AED) at the nearest dispensing point and to deliver it to the accident location to a rescuer. Early use of an AED can significantly increase a patient’s chance of survival. There are over 3,500 AED pickup locations identified in the application. The application evaluates the situation and intelligently assigns tasks to rescuers and runners based on their experiences and distance from the patient and AED. The team also won with their application third place at EHH overall.

Within 48 hours at EHH, the Mild Blue team managed to create an application for iOS and Android with enough functionality to be used by early users, who will then provide feedback for further development. The application also does not forget to ensure the return of the AEDs to the pickup point after the mission. The Mild Blue team is continuing to develop the application, communicating with the developers of the Záchranka application, doctors and paramedics and finding out what the legislative conditions are for an application of this type in the Czech Republic so that it can become fully operational as soon as possible and help to save lives.