Published: 15 June 2016

Health monitoring app wins Hartree Hackathon

PhD students from the University of Liverpool are part of a team that won the first Hartree Hack with their app to monitor the health of patients with chronic conditions in the community.

The team called C.H.A.T.S (Chronic Health Automated Telephone System) comprised of James Wright and Chinmaya Mishra from the University’s Department of Electrical Engineering & Electronics and Nick de Pennington, a neurosurgeon from Oxford.

They developed their idea to help address the increasing demand on health services due to higher levels of patients being diagnosed with chronic diseases and an ageing population.

The team hope that their app could potentially improve disease monitoring, prevent patients’ conditions deteriorating before additional medical intervention is needed, and empower patients to be better able to manage their own wellness.

Their app concept uses a range of Watson APIs including text to speech, speech to text, natural language classifier and Alchemy to try to understand and classify people’s emotional wellbeing.

They will now benefit from £25,000 worth of support from the Hartree Centre to further develop their new technology.

The Hartree Hack was a two and a half day event, held at the Hartree Centre at Sci-Tech Daresbury, which gave teams the opportunity to gain knowledge and new skills in the IBM Watson APIs and apply them to create a web or mobile-based app to address a challenge of their choice.

James Wright from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics, said: “The competition was a new experience for all of us as we had never experienced a “hackathon” before. The support provided by both the Hartree Centre and the IBM Watson team was exceptional. The win came as quite a shock to the entire team. Overall, it is a huge accomplishment that we hope to progress further. We aim to progress our proof of concept idea presented at the event to a fully-fledged working prototype.”

Chinmaya Mishra, also from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronicsadded: “The event introduced us to a web service platform called IBM Watson that provides a series of APIs for developing cognitive applications. The idea for the app began from a conversation with Nick de Pennington (a Neurosurgeon from Oxford University) another attendee at the event.

“Together we designed the application around to address the problem of being able to structure large amounts of unstructured data using the Watson API. Overall the event was interesting and allowed participants to collaborate with people from various backgrounds.

“We are excited to have won the competition and look forward to continue our work on this application in the near future.”

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