“Visualyze” team wins 2024 iHackHealth Appathon

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This January, UC Berkeley’s Fung Institute and UCSF came together for the third iHackHealth Appathon, an event focused on addressing pressing needs in the healthcare field. After ideating on proposals submitted by members of the UCSF community, Berkeley engineers and practitioners from UCSF pitched their final apps for prizes awarded by the prestigious judging team from UCB, UCSF and digital health experts.

After thorough deliberation, the judges chose the top three teams out of 7 total pitches:

🥇1st place: Visualyze

Team members: Guru Rajesh (Undergraduate in EECS and BioE), Angela Sun (MEng ’24 ME), Crystal Yang (MEng ’24 MSE), Janice (Undergraduate in BioE), and Daniel Garcia Mijares (MEng ’24 ME)

The team had two weeks to develop an app that could provide a substitute for a pupillometer, a flashlight that doctors use to measure neuro response by observing changes in a patient’s pupil.

Despite being crucial for predicting catastrophic brain injuries for patients in critical condition, pupillometers are bulky, expensive, and inaccessible, making it difficult for physicians to provide high-quality neurological monitoring. The team was determined to come up with something better and more accurate.

In those two weeks, the team split up the work, with Guru and Janice working on the front end, Crystal and Angela working on the back, and Daniel working on machine learning. Ultimately, they came up with an app called “Visualyze,” a mobile pupillometer for physicians and medical providers.

Visualyze is able to recognize and measure the diameter of a pupil using a phone camera and its flashlight. It provides several measurements and generates a summary to aid physicians in the decision making process.

This app will greatly aid providers without access to a pupillometer, such as EMTs or those working at under-resourced hospitals, and will positively impact so many patients’ lives.

In terms of the overall experience, Guru said, “It was very valuable. Being able to push through a 2-week competition like this was a good way to challenge ourselves. It was exciting to be able to just sort of figure out how to get things just working to make something that was presentable and functional.”

🥈2nd place: Phantom Mirror

“Phantom Mirror” provides free therapy for phantom limb pain by leveraging augmented reality. Phantom limb pain is described as a stabbing pain occurring in the missing limb, and is experienced by 95% of amputees. Currently, the only solution available is mirror box therapy, but it is expensive, resource-intensive, and has varying efficacy.

Phantom Mirror uses the device’s camera and a body-tracking ML model to detect the patient’s existing limb and generate a mirrored limb in real time. It is an accessible, interactive, and portable alternative to the traditional therapies and will accelerate the recovery of amputees.

🥉3rd place: Pinnacle

“Pinnacle” addresses the issue of hearing loss in the United States, and the inaccessibility and stigmatization of hearing aids. This team built a pure-tone audiometry app that exports hearing settings to AirPods to amplify and/or safeguard hearing, allowing AirPods to serve as an accessible alternative to hearing aids.

The app is also personalized for every user, and also has gamification aspects to encourage consistent testing. This technology will reduce the burden of hearing loss, bringing physical and mental benefits to those suffering from this invisible disability.

All the teams gave great pitches and accomplished a lot over the two week development phase. It was an honor to collaborate with everyone that contributed and worked on this event. We would like to especially thank our judges for their time and expertise: Afshad Mistri (Worldwide Healthcare Markets, Apple), Dorian Liepmann PhD (UC Berkeley Bioengineering faculty), Rohit Maheshwari (HealthiPeople, CEO & Founder) and Aenor Sawyer MD (Director — Innovator Enrichment Program, UC Space Health, UCSF Skeletal Health Service, Associate Professor — Orthopaedic Surgery).

We look forward to watching what the teams do next!

Edited by Veronica Roseborough.

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Berkeley Master of Engineering
Berkeley Master of Engineering

Master of Engineering at UC Berkeley with a focus on leadership. Learn more about the program through our publication.