Groundbreaking Healthcare Technology Receives Open Innovation Boost
A smartphone app that leverages artificial intelligence and other technologies to monitor a person's health in real-time by analyzing a part of their face.
When the Japanese multinational system integration company NTT Data wants breakthrough concepts, it turns to the crowd, not only to catalyze smart and creative thinking but also to help new businesses get their ideas off the ground. Every year, it organizes the NTT DATA Open Innovation Contest, a global competition for startups to pitch technology ideas that can make the world a better place.
"We believe that technology and those who create it have a responsibility to improve our communities," said Eric Clark, Chief Digital Officer, NTT DATA Services. "The contest's aim is to identify innovators whose unique ideas, combined with our guidance and our client's business drivers, can make a positive impact on society."
Startups from numerous fields were invited, including finance, automotive, IoT (internet of things), healthcare, telecoms and life sciences. Regional contests were held in 16 cities across four continents and 13 countries. During the submission period, which started in July 2019, more than 400 innovative proposals were submitted. From this pool, regional winners were selected and invited to present their pitch to a panel of judges at the Tokyo grand finale in January 2020.
The Grand Champion was Israel-based Binah.ai for a novel technology that monitors overall health and wellness only by using a smartphone video to analyze a person's face. The innovation leverages AI, signal processing and machine vision to extract vital signs within seconds.
By scanning a user's cheeks, the digital application can monitor:
• Heart rate within seven seconds.
• Oxygen saturation within ten seconds.
• Respiration rate within 30 seconds.
• Heart rate variability (the variation in the time interval between consecutive heartbeats) within 45 seconds.
• Mental stress levels within 90 seconds.
The app can work anywhere and does not require internet connectivity.
"The core essence of what we have built is an easy and accessible digital app that offers the opportunity for any smartphone user to test their vital signs in real-time," commented David Maman, founder and CEO at Binah.ai.
"Our goal is to empower patients, insurance providers, telehealth companies, medical personnel and beyond by providing them with this highly efficient health and wellness monitoring app that can be accessed anytime and does not require any additional hardware or wearables. It can ultimately extend coverage of medical services to everyone, everywhere."
For winning the open innovation competition, Binah.ai will receive up to $100,000 in funding and will work with NTT Data to develop a proof of concept.
Open Innovation Advantages
NTT Data's global competition highlighted many of the advantages of open innovation for small and big businesses, individuals and society as a whole. These include identifying more sources of innovation, developing mutually beneficial relationships for startups and big brands and the faster introduction of technologies into the market.
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