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AUS students place second at 9th Mobile Application Contest
A student team from American University of Sharjah (AUS) recently won second place at the 9th Mobile Application Contest held at Khalifa University. The winning project was a smart phone application to detect Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease called "Lung++: Android Based System for the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)," by Haya Hasan and Basel Safieh, from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
COPD is a pulmonary heart disease that causes air from the lungs to be exhaled slowly due to the inflammation of the air pipes and the damage in the air sacs. As a result, a large amount of air remains lingering in the lungs even after a full exhalation, which leads to dyspnea or a shortness of breath. The AUS project aims to diagnose and monitor COPD using a smartphone app, which is relatively lower in cost and easier to use when compared to a home spirometer.
Hasan and Safieh were supervised by Dr. Fadi Aloul and Dr. Assim Sagahyroon from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. "Although COPD can be manageable if diagnosed early, it is often underdiagnosed and is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide, with over 250 people killed every hour by the disease," said Dr. Aloul. "Using smartphones with their built-in sensors to diagnose and monitor COPD will help provide users with immediate feedback and allow them to take preemptive measures, thereby cutting hospitalization costs. This app can be used anywhere at any time."
"Our mobile app helps in diagnosing and monitoring COPD and is very easy to use. The user just has to exhale through the microphone of the smartphone and the app will be able to find the ratio of the volume exhaled in one second to the total volume of air exhaled. This ratio determines the diagnosis," said Hasan.
"The app can also help the user to monitor the progress of the disease by the six-minute walking test, which uses GPS and an external oximeter. The GPS is used to find the distance walked by the user during the test while the oximeter stores the oxygen levels of the user at every minute interval. All test results can then be shared with doctors who can access a website where the results can be posted," she added.
The AUS team competed against 26 teams from Khalifa University; Al Ain, Sharjah and Dubai Women's Colleges of the Higher Colleges of Technology; University of Sharjah; Abu Dhabi University; Canadian University in Dubai and UAE University. The Mobile Application Contest was organized by Khalifa University and sponsored by Khalifa Fund, TRA, IBM, Samsung and Emirates Advanced Investments.
The team from Abu Dhabi University placed first, while the teams from UAE University and Khalifa University placed third and fourth, respectively. The AUS team was awarded AED 15,000, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smart phones each, as well as trophies and certificates.