3 George Washington University Students who have previously hacked together before The three of us on the team have attended medical hackathons before and competed as a team. We chose to attend Hopkins MedHacks to challenge ourselves and picked the post-op track. We learned that coding is essential to accomplish most technical solutions. Trying to take into account the low resource and technology setting was the hardes part in coming up with a solution.
What it does
We have a flowchart that displays functions of a code that takes data transmitted from a wearable device via a USB, such as a pluse oximeter, and then plots the data and displays it to the nurse. The program will have an accepted threshold of vital values for % of blood oxygen and heart rate, which it will then compare to the data found by the pulse oximeter and the graph. We found that respiratory rate can be indirectly measured, taking the PPG graph and a mathematical translation, respiratory rate can be found. Once the values are compared if in range, the wearable will flash a green LED signifying the patient is in range. If their values are on the borderline of being high/low for the condition the device will flash yellow, and if severely out of range it will flash red. The status of the patient will update to the app and the nurse will be able to view which patients to see first based on red to yellow to green ratings.
How we built it
We first looked at current pulse oximeters and then thought about exactly what we measured and how we could manipulate and the data, to make easier for continuous monitoring and less of a need for nurses to check in patients whose ranges are not in a critical outbound, meaning they have normal vitals.
Challenges we ran into
We were truly unaware of what technology the clinics we were dealing with in Africa, we were told some had smartphones, while others didn't, and that internet connectivity was inconsistent if any. Sadly we wanted to focus on hardware, however after speaking to mentors we had to pivot our idea and go more of a software route, which is why we don't have a working prototype, since none of the team has much background in app making. We had to pivot halfway during the hackathon which meant we couldn't look for those people with app expertise to aid in the project.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Due to the fact we had to pivot, we decided to come up with a solution that could be implemented with most wearable technologies, this universal design is something we are proud of. This monitoring system function can be implemented in any coding language as well.
What we learned
We learned that coding is necessary to accomplish most if not all technical feats. We truly learned about user design and to think about what the customer wants and the exact technological features available in low resource settings.
What's next for BPOC- Blood Pulse Oximeter Monitoring
To continue to research wearable devices that can be made at low cost, have a USB port so that the transmitter can be housed in the unit, and code the flowchart pseudo code presented.
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