Károly Havlik, 4th-year medical student of Semmelweis University, winner of the Hungarian round of Falling Walls Lab, will compete with nearly 200 contestants from 56 countries in the finals of the international innovation competition. His project, which he developed with his IT specialist brothers, focuses on an application that helps insulin-treated diabetics maintain their blood glucose levels within the right range. The application can predict the evolution of blood glucose levels by analysing the information gathered from the user.
The medic has been interested in medical science and IT technology since his secondary school years, which is why he applied to medical university and later started developing a mobile application for diabetics with his brothers. As he said, he would like to combine medicine and IT, and he is particularly interested in the challenges of organ printing. He is also interested in radiology, which is why he joined the Scientific Students’ Association of the university, he said.
The customizable application, which records insulin and blood glucose levels in insulin-treated diabetics, as well as meals and physical activity, was inspired by his brother’s thesis work. The application is unique because by automatically analysing the logged data, blood glucose levels can be personally anticipated. The most important thing for diabetics is to keep their blood sugar levels within the right range, and the application helps them to avoid too high or too low values and to be aware if the amount of their meals or physical activity needs correction, said Károly Havlik.
The mobile application is developed jointly with his mathematician and IT specialist brothers, who deal primarily with data knowledge, data mining technologies, and algorithm development, while Károly is in touch with doctors and patients involved in testing. He said that business development tasks are the biggest challenge, but they were pleased to enter these new areas.
At present, a new application is being developed based on the existing one, the primary purpose of which is to test the functionality of the user functions, as well as to make more reliable the algorithm, which provides the prediction. The new application, available from September, will provide the logging functions for users free of charge, and a number of convenience features will also be available. From the food database, for example, it will be possible to precisely track how much carbohydrate, fat and protein a given meal contained.
The Falling Walls Lab’s finals took place in the middle of the exam period, but I managed to properly prepare for it. Still, I found some of the competitors’ presentations much better than mine, so I was really surprised when our team was announced as winner, Károly said about the competition. At the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin, they will have the opportunity to present their innovation in 3 minutes, in front of Nobel Prize winners and economic decision-makers. I will do everything I can to win the audience and take the first prize, he added.
The team’s long-term goal is to make life easier for people with type 2 diabetes and also to introduce the developed algorithm into other areas of medicine.
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translation: Diána Módos