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MS Hackathon

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Team Synappz was present at the MS Hackathon on 20 and 21 May. We spent the weekend working on our Ms. Jarvis concept, a self-learning digital personal-assistant wholly based on speech. Through artificial intelligence Ms. Jarvis gets to know the users personally and can make her knowledge of multiple sclerosis (MS) available to them.

MS is a disease that affects all individuals differently. Science still doesn’t quite know what the causes of MS are nor how a person should best organize his/her life after the diagnosis has been given. Several MS patients were present during certain session of the Hackathon and our team took advantage of the occasion to conduct several interviews with them in order to validate the Ms. Jarvis concept. It appeared that 4 out of 5 MS patients collected data on the progression of their disease, or did so in the past, and they also clearly supported the idea of using speech for data input. In their view, the most important aspect was the fact that (a) the system gets to know the user individually, thereby creating better insight into the person’s own disease progression, and (b), that this overview could then be shared with their treating physician.

On Sunday, after a weekend of hard work, the Synappz Team was able to present a functional live demo of Ms. Jarvis on stage during their pitch. Unfortunately, this time round, we didn’t win any prizes but as the saying goes (and we fully concur) “the journey is more important than the destination.” The knowledge we gained about MS will most definitely be put to good use for other digital innovations, such as the Clinicards.

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