Biomedical Engineering initiative announced as a finalist in global health competition

The GSMA, in collaboration with the Qtel Group and Qualcomm Incorporated, recently announced that the Department’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering initiative, BabeeMon, took second place in its inaugural Mobile Health University Challenge.

GSMA TeamBabeeMon is a low cost system of continuously connected respiratory, heart rhythm and O2 sensors connected to a smartphone which provides analytical processing that can notify carers of health deterioration. It was developed by Dr Gari Clifford’s team, comprised of (from left to right in the photo) Elnaz Gederi and Maxim Osipov (studying on the CDT, Violeta Monasterio (a postdoctoral researcher), Jon Daly (a 4th year MEng student) and Dr Clifford.

Dr Clifford said: “We call this approach ‘smart phones, dumb sensors’, since we leverage a smart phone’s powerful processing power to process physiological data, and the cost-effectiveness of cheap sensors. This approach represents a new paradigm in healthcare monitoring which addresses the issue of the paucity of healthcare professionals in most of the developing world.”

The Mobile Health University Challenge is a global competition that highlights key mobile health initiatives taking place within the university community. These have been showcased at the GSMA-mHealth Alliance Mobile Health Summit 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa.

During the challenge, teams of university students from around the world were asked to develop a mobile health concept that would address a specific healthcare need. From the initial group of entrants, the top 13 teams were invited to attend this week's finals at the GSMA-mHealth Alliance Mobile Health Summit to present their ideas to a judging panel comprising venture capitalists and major players in the mobile and health industries. From these 13 teams, four were chosen to present to the judging panel in a final round, and from the final four, one overall winner was selected.

The four finalists were:

  • University of Oxford (UK) - BabeeMon
  • Jordan University of Science and Technology (Jordan) - Snore Detector
  • UC Berkeley (US) - LifeCheck
  • MIT (US) and Federal University of Rio Grande Do Norte (Brazil) - Sana AudioPulse

The winner of the challenge was the joint team of MIT from the US and the Federal University of Rio Grande Do Norte from Brazil for its Sana AudioPulse.

"The teams were challenged and encouraged to use their originality and creativity to create a compelling and viable mHealth solution, and we commend the enthusiasm and commitment shown by all those who took part in our inaugural competition," said Jeanine Vos, Executive Director, mHealth at the GSMA.

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.