A group of BYU information technology students is one of 10 teams to make it to the U.S. software design finals of the Imagine Cup, an international technology competition sponsored by Microsoft.
The student team landed the coveted spot with a software application that can convert an ultrasound image to a standard image format and store it online for later access. They placed in the top 10 of more than 200 teams who competed in the national software design competition, and they have a chance to make it to the worldwide competition if they win on April 11.
The team created a working prototype of the software by using a Microsoft tablet PC and an ultrasound probe, which together cost less than $8,000.
Carter Green is one of the four students who worked on the application, and he said it could be useful for doctors in developing countries, particularly when they don’t have the upwards of $300,000 required to buy traditional ultrasound equipment. The team’s software application makes it possible to utilize relatively cheap equipment, such as the tablet PC and probe, in place of traditional equipment.
“I could see small clinics using a device like this,” Green said. “Having in-house ultrasound equipment is simply not feasible for doctors in many nations, so I can see how this would be a huge benefit for the doctors and their patients.”
The application was created as part of the year-long senior capstone course for information technology students in the college of engineering and technology.
Chia-Chi Teng, the faculty advisor for the project, said the finished product was just as impressive as the students’ work ethic.
“The students really took initiative on this project,” he said. “They were motivated to make this work, and I think that motivation came from knowing this will make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.”
The team is also competing for a people’s choice award, determined by public voting. People can vote for the BYU team, called “BearPaw,” before April 9:
- Vote for the BYU team on Facebook
- Text BEARPAW to 23000
For Green, simply participating in this project has been reward enough.
“We’ve been able to put a lot of the technologies and ideas we’ve learned into action every week, and it was an amazing experience to implement those things while continuing to learn new things,” he said.