Susan IbachTechnical Evangelist
Check out the amazing entries and winners of the Canadian 2012 Imagine Cup!
Wow! That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of the presentations I saw Monday at the Canadian finals. Congratulations to all the students who took the stage to talk about their solutions to help healthcare, the environment, and medical research. Your work was nothing less than inspiring!
For everyone who couldn't be there in person, enjoy this video sharing some of the highlights of what was truly an inspirational day and scroll down to find out about the Canadian winners!
I can’t possibly sum up the day in a single video or blog post, so you’ll be seeing a series of blog posts highlighting different aspects of the Imagine Cup. But I can sum it up in 2 words: Students rock! I think their work challenges the rest of us to raise the bar a little higher for ourselves.
Now without further ado, here are the results
This category requires the use of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework plus one additional Microsoft technology such as Azure, Kinect, Windows Phone, Windows 8, or Windows Embedded. Teams may also integrate additional technologies into their solutions including non-Microsoft technologies to create their solutions. The winner of this category will represent Canada at the world finals in Australia.
In this category students are limited to using a Windows Phone Game to help solve one of the world’s problems. The teams at this year’s finals did an amazing job trying to inspire and educate through their games
At the Canadian Imagine Cup, two students from McGill university try to address the challenge of providing healthcare in rural areas using a Windows Phone application, the cloud, and a Windows 8 application. Their solution earned them 3rd place at the Canadian Imagine Cup Finals.
India is one of the world’s largest countries, home to over a billion people. It is also one of the poorest countries, over 72% of the population live in villages. Rural India has very poor healthcare, 43$ have no access to healthcare. 70% have no resident doctor and 80% of medical workers are unqualified.
Connect doctors and patients, provide an easy way for patients to express their symptoms and provide an infrastructure for doctors to diagnose rural patients and recommend appropriate actions.
Windows Phone, Windows 8 and SQL Azure
Abhijeet Kalyan and Shravan Narayan from McGill university came up with project Neem, a rural healthcare solution. The solution revolves around a village healthcare worker. You find someone in the village who is respected in the community, and is computer literate to act as the village healthcare worker. You provide them with some very basic medical training and a Windows Phone. Using the Windows Phone they can scan the national id card of a patient. Any stored information about the patient is retrieved. The village healthcare worker has enough training to take a temperature, check blood sugar levels, check a pulse or blood pressure. These vitals can be recorded in the phone application. The health care worker can also record any particular symptoms the patient reports by tapping the area of the body and selecting the symptoms
The patient data is stored in SQL Azure and then accessed by doctors in the city through a Windows 8 application. The doctors can review the patients symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment. With the Skype application on Windows Phone, the team is also considering adding a Skype option for direct patient to doctor or doctor to healthcare worker interaction.
Shravan and Abhijeet also see a bigger picture of using the data generated from the application to help public health organizations, governments and aid agencies. A desktop data analytics application could help interpret the data and identify trends while still keeping patient information anonymous. Perhaps helping agencies identify what diseases are diagnosed in different regions.
Rural healthcare isn’t just a challenge in India, this is a challenge we face in Canada as well, as many doctors feel they will have a higher quality of life setting up practice in the city leaving small towns woefully short of desperately needed medical services. Hopefully the work done by these students will be the beginning of a solution.
When you use the power of the WinRT you can build some pretty amazing apps without requiring complex code. Leverage the code that’s already there to get a great app in the store early!
When you are deploying an app to the store it’s better to have Timer than Timer698. Getting in the store early can make a difference. In Canada, the app excellence labs give you the earliest chance to publish to the store. But with the labs coming up in June, you may think you can’t build a decent app in time. Fair enough, some of you may have some amazing ideas that will take some time to develop. But there is so much you can do with a simple idea when you add the capabilities of WinRT.
My kids have been playing computer games since they were 12 months old. As a parent I was always on the lookout for fun or educational computer games. One of the most common games was the match game. You have 4, 16, or 25 cards flipped upside down, you have to flip the cards over and find the matching pairs. This would be easy enough to build on Windows 8, but how do we take a simple app and bring that to the next level without a lot of work? leverage WinRT!
Not every great app requires 3-6 months development time. You can build apps that will surprise and delight users in under a week with the help of WinRT and a little imagination. It’s also a great chance to learn more about the Windows 8 platform and how to publish apps to the store before you release *the* big app you are working on. Don’t miss out on your chance to be first to the store. Get coding, and contact Win8CDN@Microsoft.com to request a session either in person or remotely in one of the app excellence labs and get your app in the store.
One last thing, if you decide to build and publish the match game I described above, let me know, I know some kids who will want to try it!
More Windows 8 events are coming to a city near you! Don’t miss out on these great chances to be one of the first in the Windows 8 store!
More dates and cities have been added to the Windows 8 event list. Don’t miss out!
To get the most from the events, or to help you get started if there is no event near you:
If you come to the Design Clinic or hackathon in Montreal, stop by and say hi, I’ll be there
Microsoft really jumped on the HTML5 bandwagon in a big way with Internet Explorer 9 and now Windows 8, so how does this affect your sites and apps?
There are really two big Microsoft platforms where you can leverage HTML5:
Internet Explorer 9 & 10
When Internet Explorer 9 came out, many a web developer was pleased to see HTML5 support. The more browsers that support HTML5 the less we have to write different code for different browsers. Internet Explorer 10 supports even more HTML5 features than IE 9! You can check out all sorts of great examples of the HTML5 features at ietestdrive.com you will also find a few sites on there which will even help you write your CSS and HTML5 Code. As a programmer, nothing I like better than cut and paste! Start exploring HTML5 features (WOFF rocks) and use them in your code today. I know not every browser supports everything yet, so you will want some feature detection and fallback code for older browsers, but you should be preparing your sites for the newest browsers, so those who do have new browsers have the best possible experience! Here are 4 basic steps you can do right now to get your web sites ready for IE 9 and IE 10!
I have a dream…a dream where I write code once, just once, for multiple platforms and browsers … maybe we are getting a little closer.