Three college students at the Jerusalem College of Technology won a prize for designing a mobile phone application that helps emergency medical technicians double check if they have all the right equipment before responding to a situation.
The app was designed as part of the 3rd annual Great Minds hackathon at the college's Machon Lev campus, in which more than 80 students participated earlier this month.
Daniel Vofchuk, David Zimberknopf and Daniel Grunberger – students from Brazil – comprised the winning team, which dreamed up the app, winning the NIS 3,000 first prize.
"In addition to a student at JCT, I am also an EMT volunteer for Magen David Adom, so this challenge really spoke to me personally and I knew the problem first-hand," Vofchuk said. He and his classmates designed a system of sensors that would alert an ambulance team as to whether they had run out of needles, defibrillator batteries or other essentials before rushing off to attend an emergency.
“At this hackathon, I was able to put my high-level studies of engineering at JCT into practice, together with my knowledge as an EMT, to hopefully save lives and help more people, " Vofchuk said.
Magen David Adom's Matanya Frankel helped mentor the students during the hackathon. "They have great questions and are very creative both the international students and the Israeli students," he noted.
The second and third-place prize was given to a team that designed a machine learning program to identify antisemitism on the internet and a team that designed a video analytics system to spot road accidents in real-time. Other notable ideas developed at the hackathon were an at-home training device for emergency medics, and a therapy solution for soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder.“What we find each year is that what appeals to our students are challenges that save lives and are critical to the well being of the community, and we couldn’t be prouder of them," stated Orlee Gutman, director of strategic partnerships at JCT. "We started doing hackathons on campus in order to enable our students to take what they learn in their engineering, business, and nursing courses and then create [new ideas]."In addition to the means, we also provide them a platform to take the prototypes they create and develop them into products ready for market, so they can see their ideas truly make an impact," she added.JCT caters toward religious Jewish students and has separate men's and women's campuses.