HealthTech Competition by Biomedicine, Food Science and Nutrition, and Bioinformatics

An internal student competition at i3L is currently being held as an effort to reduce cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) risk. Students are challenged to develop health apps, wearables, and medical devices ideation for managing healthy lifestyle and preventing CVDs.

By Dr. Florensia Irena Napitupulu

Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition

Figure 1. The summary of seven (7) stages in HealthTech Competition (months in year 2021)

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one silent killer in the world. In 2019, CVDs also became the main cause of death in Indonesia which reached 38.19% of total death in Indonesia. This was already higher compared to the percentage of death in the world caused by CVDs, which was about 32.84%. Among the top ten specific causes of death in Indonesia in 2019, there were four CVDs included in the list, which were ischemic heart disease, intracerebral hemorrhage, ischemic stroke, and hypertensive heart disease. The data in 2019 also showed that a combination of several risk factors is exacerbating these diseases. The main cause of death in CVDs in Indonesia is the high systolic blood pressure (68.97%), then followed by dietary risk (36.9%) and smoking (21.04%), at the second and third rank respectively. 

This condition is even direr for people who do not know how to manage their lifestyle. Additionally, there is a lack of self-diagnosing tool to help people to detect this group of diseases earlier. Therefore, there is a need to improve people’s lifestyle with providing them with smart reminders or self-diagnostics measures. The use of wearable technology and health apps are increasingly common these days as one way to support health management and has become a standard health care intervention with emerging health care technologies. The convenience and real-time feedback of health-related apps increases patients’ engagement and compliance with treatment, helping them manage their health more efficiently. However, some concerns arise with the efficiency it offers, such as privacy protection, system interoperability, or technicality problems. In this regard, we are initiating an internal competition at i3L to help kickstart the development of health technology applications and/or devices for managing the lifestyle to reduce the prevalence of CVDs. The devices should be able to help people manage their lifestyle to prevent the development of CVDs.

Seven stages in this competition (Figure 1) are conducted from March until December 2021. There are 14 groups of students registered and they are ready to tackle the problem above. They have just been prepared for the competition through a technical meeting on Monday, April 19, before being enrolled into clinical immersion (April 24) with cardiologists and CVD patients to help with the ideation and executing their ideas into a proposal. After the assessment in June, three top winners will be announced and funded to develop their ideas into prototypes which will be mentored by a number of experts and reviewed by related industry.


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