Adriana Viola Miranda wins the MIT COVID-19 Challenge

Adriana Viola Miranda. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Adriana Viola Miranda, a class of 2016 student of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Indonesia (FKUI), together with her team, scored a MIT COVID-19 Challenge: Latin America vs COVID-19, on 19-21 June 2020. The group’s online competition was held by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States, to facilitate the community to take part in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences. 

The competition was supported by more than 70 partners, including UNESCO and the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Health, official European Union bodies. Since April 2020, MIT COVID-19 Challenge has held five competitions: “Beat the Pandemic”, “Africa Takes on COVID-19”, “MIT COVID-19 Datathon”, “Beat the Pandemic II” and most recently “Latin America vs COVID-19”. Adriana was one of 1500 participants in three competitions: Beat the Pandemic, Beat the Pandemic II, and Latin America vs COVID-19. To participate in each competition, she first passed a selection stage based on skills and motivation, along with 5000 other registrants from 90 countries. 

In the Latin America vs COVID-19 competition, she joined the Amigo Team, whose members came from Chile, Brazil, Argentina Sri Lanka, and the US. Members’ backgrounds range from doctors to public health experts, to biotechnologists, Adriana is the only member of the team who is still a medical student. 

Amigo Team was a winner in the category “Track B. New Ways to Deliver Care in a COVID-19 World”. The MIT COVID-19 Challenge competition used a hackathon system, a collaboration in developing ideas and prototypes of technology-based health start-ups in 48 hours, each team competing on their respective tracks, from track A to track J. 

In the hackathon, each participant was asked to form a multidisciplinary unit with other participants from various countries. Each team was mentored by various mentors who have expertise in the fields of health, technology, and business. The winner was chosen based on pitching or presentations, with the assessment criteria in the form of the impacts on the community, innovation, implementation and the effectiveness of the presentation. 

Broadly speaking, the challenge faced by Adriana and her team on Track B was to find a method of health care during COVID-19 which can ensure patient safety. “Amigo offered a solution of service through the WhatsApp-based telemedicine system or SMS for those who don’t have access to the internet, to ensure adequate healthcare for vulnerable populations with chronic conditions,” she explained in a release received by Independent Observer, Sunday (6/28/2020). 

Using machine learning, Amigo hopes to be a friend to patients by sending symptoms monitoring messages, delivering drugs, and helping scheduling consultations at the hospital. Going forward, Amigo will be developed to be able to monitor patient needs based on symptoms. Currently, the Amigo team is working together on a pilot study with a hospital in Chile. “I hope that the solution from Amigo can also be implemented in Indonesia, in the future,” she said. 

Dean of FKUI, Prof. Dr. dr. Ari Fahrial Syam, Sp.PD-KGEH, MMB, is proud to welcome the achievements of Adriana. “I feel proud of students are dedicated concerns to find solutions to overcome COVID-19. Adriana’s participation in international competition across the world shows that young Indonesians can collaborate with their colleagues from other countries to produce something. Moreover, the one implementing this competition is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a well-known educational institution, not only in the US but also throughout the world,” he expressed. 

Her experience in the hackathon made Adriana aware that many people all over the world, with different backgrounds of expertise, had a great desire to help the wider community in halting this pandemic. “As long as there is willingness and openness to collaborate, anyone can contribute to the fight against COVID-19 even with limited capacity and ability. If there is a will, there is a way,” she said. (*/ est)