Microsoft’s national innovational competition has been won by an application designed by university students from Debrecen, created to facilitate the proper preparation of medical students for their chosen profession.
At the Hungarian finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup, one of the most prestigious technological competitions in the world announced specifically for young people and university students, the members of the team called MEDcases, comprising program developers from Debrecen, have become the absolute winners. With the help of their medical diagnostic application, medical students and young residents will be able to prepare themselves to face the challenges and dilemmas of their future clinical vocation in virtual reality with simulated cases and patients, while accessing the full range of diagnostic methods available but without endangering actual human lives.
As many as three members of the four-member winning team are closely related to the University of Debrecen; Gábor Tóth
has graduated as a physician and he is currently a Ph.D. student at UD, just like János Vincze
, who has also completed the requirements for receiving a degree in software information technology in addition to his degree in medicine, and Tamás Katona
, who is graduating this year from the software information technology MA program at our university. Although the only female member of the team, Andrea Herdon
, also comes from Debrecen originally, she is currently enrolled in the economy and marketing program at Budapest’s Corvinus Egyetem
“During the course of our studies, we have realized that the complex approach required to practice the art of medical diagnosis is difficult to master with the help of just textbooks and lecture courses, so we have decided to come up with an idea that makes it possible to practice it in a safe environment while having access to the most recent state-of-the-art technologies. In our application, virtual patients appear ‘in the surgery’ of the user, complete with their ailments and symptoms. The program then assists the user in picking the right kind of diagnosis most efficiently and the fastest way possible out of a full database of diagnostic possibilities. This will certainly help any resident or medical student in making the right kind of decisions by ruling out unnecessary examinations and reducing the chances for potential misdiagnoses,” said Gábor Tóth
The objective of the young program developers is to incorporate information on all of the known diseases in the program. “The process of extending the database is done with the help of physicians working at the University of Debrecen, who will soon get ahold of the first version of the application, which they can then complement by adding individual cases. Then comes a testing period, during which medical students and residents will be asked to try and use the application called MEDcases in practice,” said János Vincze
The program is developed in English, since just a few weeks after the April domestic finals, the competitors will be required to submit the test version of the program to an international jury at the Central European round of the competitions. If the program and its application qualifies at this international level too, the Microsoft Imagine Cup adventure will surely continue for the Debrecen team at the world finals held in the summer of 2016 in Seattle, Washington.
Naturally, the program is expected to come out in a Hungarian version too, which will be downloadable to all mobile platforms by the users.