Cancer-screening software wins wireless competition

by Renee Meiller

A software program for screening for cervical cancer, particularly in developing countries with limited resources, earned the top award and $10,000 in the Qualcomm Wireless Innovation Prize at UW-Madison. The AlgoCerv software enables people with limited medical training to scan Pap smear slides and provide results to a patient before she leaves the clinic. "It was the right mix of having something that was original and meeting a specific key need," said judge Samir Gupta of Qualcomm, about the project. "The real need in industry was quite clear."

Sponsored by San Diego-based global ., the wireless innovation competition at UW-Madison is inspired by the Qualcomm Venture Fest, an internal entrepreneurship challenge designed to develop people and real business ideas.

At UW-Madison, students who participate in the Qualcomm Wireless Innovation Prize develop new wireless technology products, as well as business plans for marketing and selling those products.

A team that developed an inexpensive wearable electronic patch that uses the user's unique gestures to execute a pre-programmed command, such as making a cell phone call or sending a text message, earned second place and $5,000 in the competition. RETE adheres discreetly to the wearer's body somewhat like a temporary tattoo.

The third-place, $2,500 winners designed a wearable pulse oxitelemeter that frequently measures a chronically ill patient's at home and transmits the data to his or her physician through the 3G cellular network. For people who suffer from severe asthma, or , the device reduces the burden of recording and sending this data regularly to their healthcare provider.

The competition's 11 entries also included ideas for a smartphone texting app that incorporates media sharing and social networking features, an eye-tracking interface for mobile devices, and a universal remote that gives users control over any electronic device via a smartphone or tablet computer, among others.

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