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Tokyo Tech student's team 3rd in Stanford health hackathon

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December 1, 2017

1st-year master's student in Computer Science Hiroki Naganuma and his team Rota++ won both the 3rd Place Grand Prize and Persistent-Neodesign Prize at Stanford's Health Hackathon health++ 2017, held at Stanford University on October 21 and 22, with their creation to combat dehydration in infants.

Winners (from right): Hiroki Naganuma, Riku Arakawa (The University of Tokyo), Masayuki Teramoto (Osaka University), Eitaro Yamatsuta (Osaka University), Yudai Ushiro (Waseda University), Minatsu Sugimoto (University of Tsukuba)

Winners (from right): Hiroki Naganuma, Riku Arakawa (The University of Tokyo), Masayuki Teramoto (Osaka University), Eitaro Yamatsuta (Osaka University), Yudai Ushiro (Waseda University), Minatsu Sugimoto (University of Tsukuba)

Rota++ designed YourPacifier, a smart soother that detects the humidity on a baby's lips, rehydrates him or her when required, and informs the infant's guardian if further action is required.

The idea for the wonderful creation was born when one of the team members was carrying out public health research in Asia and the Pacific islands. He learned of the number of young children being hospitalized for diarrhea-related dehydration, which is often caused by the rotavirus, and decided that something had to be done.

A sensor in the pacifier measures the hydration levels of the baby. If levels are dangerously low, the pacifier alerts an adult of the danger through a mobile app. At this stage, the app presents the user with three simple questions, and based on the answers given, advises the user to, for example, seek medical attention at a hospital. Additionally, YourPacifier collects data that can be shared with hospitals, making it a useful tool in identifying and analyzing epidemics in surrounding areas.

Stanford's health++

health++, an annual contest held at Stanford University to tackle healthcare challenges, brings together engineers, entrepreneurs, designers, and healthcare professionals. This year, 521 participants involved in 52 projects joined to tackle the issue of affordability in healthcare.

Rota++

Rota++ is a team of six undergraduate and graduate-level students who bring to the table expertise in medicine, bioengineering, hardware and software engineering, and product design. Naganuma, who specializes in hardware and software engineering, was responsible for the communications between the hardware and software used in YourPacifier.

Comments from Hiroki Naganuma

The development of this product began after we started wondering whether technology could be used to solve a truly serious problem in developing countries, a concept not often recognized in Japan.

This prestigious prize is the result of great teamwork. There are still many improvements, checks, and trials to carry out. We will continue to work on solving this problem while receiving feedback on our product.

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