The team PD Loggers has developed a wearable device that enables patients to re-initiate normal activity when a ‘freezing episode’ is detected
PD Loggers, a team of three students from the National University of Singapore, has won the Intel Singapore Invent 50 competition for its wearable monitoring device that helps improves the lives of Parkinson’s patients.
The team also took home S$10,000 (over US$7,100), in addition to a laptop hooked up with an Intel RealSense camera. It will also get an internship opportunity with Intel.
PD Loggers’s product can attack the ‘freezing episodes’ of Parkinson’s patients. (Freezing episodes refer to the temporary, involuntary inability to move and is common amongst Parkinson’s patients). The product wirelessly monitors the movements of the patient, and when a freezing episode is detected, it helps the person re-initiate normal activity.
“This is surprising. We actually were not expecting [to win]. Our system was feasible, but our competitors had nice- looking prototypes,” Val Mikos, a 26-year-old PhD student and member of PD Loggers, told e27.
His team mate and 24-year-old Daniel Lee Chi Cheng explained why he thought his team might have won. “The way I see it is that we [did not] have a ‘wow solution’ to solve ‘wow problems’. We were trying a new method to solve an old problem,” he said. “We are thankful for the whole experience, not just the victory.”
Speaking at the event, Singapore’s Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung shared that when he was a secondary school student, he attempted to build an umbrella that could cook eggs, but failed. “You are able to do much more than I could at this age. Continue that quest. Use the technology that you have. Build upon it. Be courageous. Be brave. And I think you will make yourself proud.”
PD Loggers was selected from a group of 18 finalists. The team was chosen by a panel of 14 judges comprising noted personalities from the education, government and private sectors, including representatives from SPRING and A*star.
At the contest, the judges looked for the social impact of the product, commercial viability, how complete the thought process was, and whether the group could take the project forward. Furthermore, additional ‘bonus points’ were given if the judges felt something was particularly interesting.
“We had more than 400 student submissions from 12 universities and polytechnics. Of this, 18 of the most promising were selected. For the next three months [after the selection], there was intense mentoring. The projects tackled a range of problems — from healthcare to home automation,” said Dr. Anjan Ghosh, Intel’s Regional Director of Corporate Affairs.
Team Hydrone, another team from NUS that has developed an amphibious drone to help monitor water quality, won the second prize and a cheque of S$5,000 (US$3,500). The third prize went to Team Green from Nanyang Technological University for it mobile gamification app that helps motivate people to adopt an energy-saving lifestyle. The team also won S$3,000 (US$2,100).
Finally, a team from Nanyang Polytechnic and NUS won the Facebook contest for a system that allows the elderly and visually-impaired to use Braille to indicate their bus of choice, which then alerts the driver when the person boards the bus.
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