Telemedicine app comes in first at AUC’s Real Life Competition

Ahram Online , Thursday 27 May 2021

Five students won first place in the AUC's Student Union's Real Life Competition for Besta, a telemedicine application

AUC
The AUC five students who won the first place in student union real life contest. (photo credit of the AUC Media Office)

It was announced on 24 May that five junior students at The American University in Cairo (AUC) – Ali El-Banbi, Ameena El-Agha, Mohamed Mansour, Tamer Osman, and Yasmina Halbouny – came in first place in the AUC Student Union's Real Life Competition for their idea Besta, a mobile application connecting junior doctors in rural and less-equipped areas to doctors in cities.

Besta allows early detection of eye diseases, which can be visually diagnosed while asymptomatic, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. The app automatically diagnoses patients with high levels of accuracy, helping avoid the need for a doctor's intervention in the long run.

"With these kinds of activities, having a team with commitment and grit is extremely important. Creativity and subject-matter expertise mean nothing if your team isn't willing to give it 100% every step of the way," said El-Agha on the reason behind their success.

The competition provides an opportunity for international and Egyptian students to solve real-life challenges that span different societies worldwide.

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This year, the Student Union's Real Life Competition brought together 250 international and local participants. Students from Hungary, Romania, Italy, Brazil, Afghanistan, France, Syria, Australia, Yemen, Spain, Lebanon, USA, Palestine, and Nigeria along with different parts of Egypt (Abu Qir, Giza, Zagazig, Kafr El Sheikh, Port Said, Qena and Alexandria) competed in 50 teams.

"Coming into this competition, I had little to no hope that we would even enter the top 20. We gave it our all for the experience and the opportunity; coming first was just a great bonus," Mohamed Mansour said on winning the competition.

Lobna Abou Doma, co-general manager of Real Life committee, explained "Sustainability is now becoming more important than ever with the limited resources we have, but now technology comes into play with recent advances that allow us to utilise it for community advancement, for solving infrastructural issues, for promoting better healthcare systems and access to inclusive and quality education."

By the time these diseases become symptomatic, the patient could potentially have already lost part of their vision, making early detection during checkups critical. "To lose your eyesight is to lose your livelihood and the ability to put food on the table for your family. That's why we felt this was a pressing issue," Osman commented on the choice of their project.

"We always like to think of our generation as the generation that can actively engage in a digital world and utilise all of its resources to bring about change and community development," disclosed Abou Doma.

She added that the purpose of this competition is to empower future generations to take charge of their future and actively work on making it theirs.

 

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