12 September 2017 – A team of students from the School of Computing and Faculty of Arts and Social Science won first place in the inaugural DXC Technology Hackathon “The Future of Innovation Challenge”.

The competition was held from 8 to 9 September this year. Four teams from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University, were tasked with designing and developing next generation solutions for Singapore’s healthcare industry.

The winning team, Team X, comprised Year 3 Business Analytics students, Yong Zhun Hung, Nicholas Foo and Goh Jie Da, and Year 3 Global Studies student, Oh Jia Zhen. They came up with Concept Interactive Friend, a personal Artificial Intelligence (AI) to capture data from personalised conversations with patients, to aid doctors in their diagnoses for depression.

Yong Zhun Hung, team leader of Team X, said that they chose to address mental health due to the high prevalence of depression in Singapore and a gap in monitoring a patient’s recovery after he/she is discharged from the hospital. “There is a lack of information regarding a patient’s progress and that could affect the accuracy of the doctor’s diagnosis during follow up treatment,” added Zhun Hung.

The team’s AI, which uses an industry standard nine question instrument for depression (PHQ-9), aims to improve diagnosis by notifying doctors when a patient’s PHQ-9 score increases continuously over three days. If a patient’s PHQ-9 score increases more than 30%, the AI will schedule an automatic video appointment with the doctor.

Zhun Hung said that despite having their concept shot down by commercial advisors from the DXC Sales Team, it was their unorthodox idea that made their team stand out against the competition. “What I believe helped my team to stand out was that we had the guts to disregard the commercial advisors’ feedback and went ahead with what is considered out of the norm,” explained Zhun Hung. “We also had a team with diverse skill sets to ensure all aspects of our solution is accounted for. Most importantly, we aligned ourselves with the bigger picture and had fun in the process.”

This win presents the team with an opportunity to do an internship with DXC Technology and to showcase their solution at the upcoming HIMSS AsiaPac 17 Conference, held on 12 to 13 September.