McGill students develop healthcare solution using Windows 8, Windows Phone

Two McGill University students have developed a new way to provide healthcare in remote areas, all through the use of a Windows 8 app and some strategically-placed workers.

As part of Microsoft's Imagine Cup Canada 2012, Abhijeet Kalyan and Shravan Narayan have developed Project Neem, Gizmodo reports, which provides workers with basic medical training and a Windows phone in villages that would otherwise be without sophisticated medical care.

The worker scans the patient's national ID card and, using a custom app for the phone, the patient's information is saved in cloud storage, allowing specialized medical professionals in urban hubs access to the information. The concept is to allow these specialists to intervene in cases where they would not normally be able to access the patient or their information.

The app was developed with India in mind, where, according to Microsoft's GoDEVMental blog, over 72 per cent of the population lives in villages, and 43 per cent have no access to healthcare.

The app uses a symptom checker much like the ones found on similar online programs, like WebMD, which encourage the patient to click on the body part that is troubling them in order to narrow down potential afflictions.

What's interesting about Project Neem is the emphasis on providing the resources to someone who already lives in the village. Instead of hiring workers to be placed in a remote village, Kalyan and Narayan's plan for the project is to train someone who is already respected within the community and is computer-literate. They would be given training on how to accurately take a temperature, check blood sugar levels and test blood pressure then relay that information to medical professionals via the app on the Windows Phone.

Project Neem's innovative approach to healthcare secured the students' third place in the national competition, which took place at the end of April. Students from across Canada competed at the Canadian Imagine Cup, which encourages students to develop solutions using Microsoft technology including Windows 8, the Windows Phone and the Kinect. While Project Neem won't be moving on to the international finals, one Canadian team will: Project Greeni, which was developed by a group of George Brown College students, used the Kinect to develop an energy-saving solution.

(Photo: GoDEVMental blog)