Health tech scores big at Microsoft Imagine Cup 2021 world championship

More than 2 million students have competed for Microsoft's Imagine Cup. Find out who took top honors in this year's competition.

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A candid shot of Team REWEBA when they found out they'd won the Imagine Cup: (left to right) Khushi Gupta, Abdihamid Ali, Jeet Gohil and Dharmik Karania.

Image: Microsoft

At Microsoft Build, the winning team at the Imagine Cup was announced this week. The annual student competition has brought together more than 2 million contenders from around the world since it began. Team REWEBA from Kenya took home the trophy with its Internet of Things based infant monitoring solution. 

The team won $75,000, a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and a $50,000 Microsoft Azure grant. The IoT solution remotely analyzes infant parameters during post-natal screening and serves as an early warning intervention system. 

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Projects for the Imagine Cup are submitted in four social good categories—Earth, Education, Healthcare and Lifestyle. The top four teams pitched their projects at the world championship during Microsoft Build this week, giving in-depth presentations that judges assessed for diversity, originality and innovative design. 

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Imagine Cup judges: (left to right) Toni Townes-Whitley, president, US Regulated Industries, Microsoft; Jocelyn Jackson, National Society of Black Engineers National Chair 2019-2021; Enhao Li, co-founder and CEO of Female Founder School

Image: Microsoft

The winning team, REWEBA, which stands for Remote Well Baby, digitally monitors the growth of babies and their health and sends the results to doctors for timely intervention. It combines machine learning, IoT and data analytics to screen infants, mimicking postnatal screening that takes place in a hospital. The team members are Dharmik Karania, Jeet Gohil, Khushi Gupta and Abdihamid Ali.

Gupta said the driving factor for the team's solution was enabling equal access to healthcare services and saving infants from fatal diseases: "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."

Registration for the 2022 Imagine Cup competition is open, and anyone who is a student and 16 or older can sign up.

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