A team of students from the Technion and the University of Missouri won second place at MedHacks — a hackathon for developing medical technologies hosted by Johns Hopkins University. They were awarded for developing the Scan&Sound application, which detects strokes at early stages and alerts the victims.

One in four people in the United States experiences a stroke at one point in their lives. There are many different levels of severity, ranging from a stroke that one is not even aware of experiencing to an event that results in serious cognitive and motor impairments, and even death. In addition to personal harm, strokes also incur enormous financial expenses for the individual, the health system, and the country. As a result, there is great interest in s developing methods to identify strokes at the early stages when treatment is more effective.

Scan&Sound detects early, subtle stages of stroke by studying voices and facial expressions and analyzing the data using artificial intelligence. If there is a significant change, the application alerts the user that they are suffering from symptoms that may indicate a stroke and suggests they call predetermined contacts or an emergency call center.

The Scan&Sound team is comprised of four Technion students and alumni: Hadas Braude, a sixth year student in the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine; Sean Heilbronn-Doron, a fourth year student in the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine; Shunit Polinsky, a master’s student in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering; and Ron Liraz, an alumnus who received a master’s degree from the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering. The fifth student on the team was Leeore Levinstein, a third year medical student at the University of Missouri.

The students now hope to partner with neurological departments and rehabilitation centers across Israel and the U.S.