Innovative solution for seniors wins JCT orthodox women's hackathon

The 45-hour hackathon brought 140 religious women together to develop potentially lifesaving technologies, which included a flying defibrillator and technology to detect babies left in parked cars.

 5th annual JCT women's hackathon (photo credit: MICHAEL ERENBURG)
5th annual JCT women's hackathon
(photo credit: MICHAEL ERENBURG)

At the 5th annual Jerusalem College of Technology LevTech Entrepreneurship Center’s Women’s Hackathon, a team which developed a mechanism that enables seniors to have easier access to modern-day technological devices won first place and took home a cash prize.

Dubbed “EasySurf,” the mechanism solves the struggle faced by numerous senior citizens around the world who have difficulty operating everyday technology, especially accessing information via the screen.

old person elderly geriatric computer 390 (credit: Thinkstock)old person elderly geriatric computer 390 (credit: Thinkstock)

The device is intended to be set up by a close friend or family member of the senior who can program critical information such as social security or favorite websites. It is then programmed to remember how to access these portals with one quick click of a button moving forward.

About the hackathon 

The 45-hour hackathon brought 140 religious women together to develop potentially life-saving technologies. The hackathon prompted JCT students to create a wide array of innovative solutions to pressing problems.

“The students came into the hackathon with a good deal of knowledge and asked precise questions in order to reach their goal.”

Yael Winograd,  algorithm engineer at OrCam

Women were challenged with addressing a problem presented by OrCam — a company that creates artificial intelligence solutions. Other notable participating companies were Intel, Medtronic, Alpha-TAU, Rafael, United Hatzalah, the Israel Police, and the Havatzalot Program.

Yakir Winograd, an algorithm engineer at OrCam, said: “The students came into the hackathon with a good deal of knowledge and asked precise questions in order to reach their goal.”

Oren Weil, a Windows software architect at Intel, added, “An engineer must know how to recognize a problem and break it down so he or she can find the right solution. These women definitely have the brain of an engineer.”

Second and third place entries featured technology to help detect when babies are left in parked cars and a flying defibrillator that can be summoned by phone.