PICT team is runner up International Better Health Hackathon

The team from Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT) consisting of Tanmay Jain (20) and Krishna Bhambhani (19), third-year B E (Computer Engineering) students emerged the runner up team in the global category for their solution CoVidSpy, at the Better Health Hackathon: #CodeForCovid19, winning a prize amount of USD10,000.

The international event which concluded on the 28th of August with its grand finale was organized by HCL technologies in collaboration with Microsoft.  The team’s solution stood second-best among solutions from more than 200 teams and more than 7,500 participants from 50+ countries. The CoVidSpy is an AI-enabled, computer vision-based pandemic management system developed by PICT students Tanmay Jain and Krisha Bhambani. These students are mentored by Dr Kavita A Sultanpure and provided all support and encouragement by the Management & Director of Pune Institute of Computer Technology,

The event was a platform to engage a global community of talented, purpose-driven and passionate tech innovators and developers – harnessing their creativity, digital skills and entrepreneurial spirit to inspire solutions that address immediate concerns and long-term global challenges to better prepare for current and potential pandemic-related problems.

The event that kicked off in the second week of June was a 12-week long affair, wherein the teams had to go through multiple rounds to qualify for the finals. They were given a time period of nearly 3 months to come up with a solution aligning with one of the tracks of the hackathon. The various tracks included “Prevention & containment”, “Diagnosis, treatment & therapeutic management”, “Recovery and return to normal”, “Systemic solutions for crisis & pandemic management”. The PICT team chose the “recovery and return to normal” track for their solution. The track mainly focused on how technology can safeguard communities that will return to workplaces, mass transit systems, public spaces, dining & retail outlets as well as gradually into sports arenas, cinemas, theatres and concerts.

The judging and advisory panel for the hackathon included academicians and influencers from institutions such as Johns Hopkins, Cambridge University, Tuck School of Business, International SOS and subject matter experts & thought leaders from Merck’s and co., Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina, and more industry leaders from the Life sciences and healthcare, joined by technology disruptors from HCL and Microsoft.

The team’s solution along with all the other solutions was judged on the criteria such as innovation, technical execution, and relevance to Covid-19. For the first round, along with the other teams, the team had to submit a functional prototype, a video presentation with recorded demonstration, a PowerPoint presentation, and pictures of their solution –CoVidSpy. After which they were declared one of the top 32 teams to qualify for the preliminary-final round. In this round, the team had the opportunity to deliver a tele-pitch of their solution followed by a one-on-one question and answer session with a panel of eight judges. After successfully clearing this, the team qualified for the grand finale and were declared one of the top 8 teams internationally.

The team thereafter went on to compete with seven others which included a team of students from Stanford University and other teams with most participants holding PhDs and postgraduate degrees in their respective fields. Tanmay and Krisha were two of the youngest finalists. The Grand Finale included tele-pitches by all eight teams and was streamed live on multiple platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. At the end of the finale, the team was honoured with the runner up prize in the global category by the CEO of HCL Technologies, C Vijayakumar, and the Global Head of HCL technologies, Arthur Filip.

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