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Team Boomerang Advances to Microsoft Imagine Cup World Championship

Team Boomerang, led by Jody Tversky, assistant professor in the Division of Clinical Immunology, and composed of Johns Hopkins and UC Berkeley students, was selected to advance to the 2018 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Championship in Seattle.

Johns Hopkins medical students Jane Wang, Daniel Weng, Thomas Le, engineering student Saki Fugita and Alvin Wan, Derek Wan and Sean Kelly from UC Berkeley developed a smart application and bluetooth device to potentially help patients track, locate and record use of essential medications such as asthma rescue inhalers, epinephrine and others. The students were selected among a group of over 4,000 registrants across the nation through a highly competitive process which culminated in a two-day pitch competition in San Francisco. Team Boomerang placed second overall in the U.S., and won first prize for use of Big Data technology. This automatically qualifies the team to advance to the Imagine World Cup in Seattle in July.

The team constructed an affordable device and thin rubber sleeve to slip onto household medications, with veiled pockets that enable them to install a NFC sticker, Beacon, ringer and light. The patient-specific mobile application uses this Boomerang device to detect an out-of-range or in-range medication, notifying the user when appropriate. Boomerang also includes a suite of applications that build a network of support around patients. The user’s preferences for Boomerang notifications are learned over time, and with aggregate statistics Boomerang builds a more accurate assessment of high risk situations. Using Microsoft Azure machine learning tools, the group plans to further develop solutions to collect medication pattern-use data to make informed recommendations to the more than 130 million Americans suffering from a multitude of health disorders.




Kelsey Bennett