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reVIVE wins the Disrupt NY 2017 Hackathon Grand Prize

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HIt’s been a long night at Pier 36, also known as Basketball City. But this time, you couldn’t see hoops. Instead, the building hosted a very special competition — the Disrupt NY Hackathon.

Around 750 engineers and designers got together to come up with something cool, something neat, something awesome. The only condition was that they only had 24 hours to work on their projects. Some of them were participating in our event for the first time, while others were regulars.

We could all feel the excitement in the air when the 89 teams took the stage to present a one-minute demo to impress fellow coders and our judges. But only one team could take home the grand prize and $5,000. So, without further ado, meet the Disrupt NY 2017 Hackathon winner.

The first team to go onstage at the Disrupt NY 2017 Hackathon showed off reVIVE, a virtual reality solution for diagnosing ADHD. The team of three high school juniors wanted to create a solution that would simplify the lengthy and expensive process of diagnosing the illness.

The team tells me that ADHD normally takes six to nine months to diagnose, and that process alone can cost patients thousands of dollars.

The reVIVE tool is composed of three different tests that gauge the user’s motor skills, sustained concentration and reaction time. Users are asked to perform tasks like navigating a maze, touching colored objects as they light up certain colors and standing still within a defined space. The team created a scoring system to measure a user’s performance that will allow medical professionals to gain a clearer picture of their situation within minutes.

Akshaya Dinesh, 17; Sowmya Patapati, 16; and Amulya Balakrishnan, 17, built the virtual reality app for the HTC Vive using Unity. The team of New Jersey high school students met and became friends at the hackathon. Balakrishnan and Patapati work with the organization #BUILTBYGIRLS.

“We really wanted to quantify ADHD diagnoses,” said Dinesh “When you’re immersed in a 360 environment, patients experience the environment as if they’re really there.”

The team isn’t trying to replace the role of therapists when it comes to treatment, but they believe that the app can serve as a telemedicine tool, alerting a user’s therapist to their latest performance inside the app, while analyzing the data over time thanks to IBM Watson.

Medical diagnosing and treatment have already proven to be a major use case for virtual reality. Companies like MindMaze have already achieved unicorn status catering their VR solutions directly to medical professionals. The team believes that diagnosing illnesses is one of “the best use cases possible for VR.

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