IBM today announced the 2019 Call for Code grand prize was awarded to Prometeo for developing a health monitoring platform for firefighters.
The Barcelona-based team consisting of a nurse, a firefighter, and three developers will receive $200,000 and assistance from IBM and its partners to bring the project to life.
Promoteo began as an endeavor by firefighter Joan Herrera. Realizing there were no systems in place to monitor the health of firefighters combating wildfires, Herrera and nurse Vicenç Padró began collecting data by hand. Eventually, they joined forces with three IT professionals, Salomé Valero, Josep Ràfols, and Marco Rodriguez, and the team joined the Call For Code challenge.
According to an IBM press release:
The health device—which is about the size of a smartphone and straps to a firefighter’s arm—has multiple sensors that measure key variables including temperature, humidity, and smoke concentration. This information is collected and transmitted to IBM’s Cloud IoT platform; then, a Node-RED workflow sends the data to the IBM Watson-based machine learning model, which distills the information into a simple color-coded status for fire command centers to monitor the health of each deployed firefighter in real-time.
A distinguished panel of judges led by President Bill Clinton chose Prometeo from a field of 32 finalists. The top five teams received awards, per IBM:
Second place: Sparrow—whose members hail from India, China, and the US. The Sparrow team developed an open source conversational AI platform that helps users address their physical and psychological well-being during and after natural disasters by matching them with automated support and live experts. Sparrow was awarded USD $25,000.
Third place awarded to Rove, an SMS chatbot that uses natural language understanding to give users health information during a natural disaster. Rove was awarded USD $25,000.
Fourth place AsTeR was awarded USD $10,000.
Fifth place Healios was awarded USD $10,000.
Call for Code is an annual challenge held by IBM, David Clark Cause, and their partners that solicits technology-based ideas that can help mitigate the catastrophic effects of natural disasters. It culminates in an annual challenge, but also features numerous hackathons and other events that occur around the globe at IBM-sponsored events throughout the year.
TNW spoke with Ràfols a few days before the winners were announced. He told us they wanted to win the first prize so they could take their project “the next level.” When asked what it was like participating in Call for Code this year, he told us:
It was very exciting! The people from IBM are helping us to improve our project. They were so wonderful.
Congratulations to Ràfols and the rest of the Prometeo team, and everyone else who participated in this year’s Call for Code challenge!