In August, Microsoft held the world finals of its annual student technology and software competition the Imagine Cup. The overall winner was a two person team from Australia who created a Windows Phone app called Eyenaemia. As part of their prize, the team got a private meeting with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to show off the app.

Today, Gates posted an article and video about his meeting with Eyenaemia's creators Jennifer Tang and Jarrel Seah. The app itself, which has not been released yet to the general public, has been designed to diagnose anemia in patients by examining a "selfie" photo of a person holding a small card filled with colored squares placed next to their eye. The app's description says, "Eyenaemia analyses the conjunctiva and calculates the risk of anaemia, putting years of medical training into the hands of untrained users."

Gates stated:

"It's exciting to see bright young people like Jennifer and Jarrel applying their talents to problems that disproportionately affect the poor. As I told them, I could see a future version of Eyenaemia being used in developing countries, especially with pregnant women, since anemia contributes to nearly 20 percent of deaths during pregnancy."

While the app may have won the top prize at the Imagine Cup, the team is working to perfect Eyenaemia, which still has a high false positive rate. Gates wrote, "They're looking at ways to bring it down by adding in factors like the patient's age and gender, which they suspect affect the results by changing the color of the eyelid."

What do you think about having the Windows Phone app ecosystem used to develop an application like Eyenaemia?

Source: The Gates Notes