Bengaluru Students Create Fake-Drug Detector App; Microsoft Awards Them Rs 10 Lakh!

The app uses OCR, Big Data, AI and other emerging technologies for detecting fake medicines.

Fake-drug detector app wins Rs 10 lakh prize
Fake-drug detector app wins Rs 10 lakh prize

Everyone has ideas, but very few take action on that.

One such brilliant idea is an app to detect fake drugs, which is especially relevant in India, where estimated 50% of all drugs and medicines sold are fake.

Three students from Bengaluru worked on this idea, and made it happen.

Microsoft recognized the efforts, and have rewarded them with Rs 10 lakh ($15,000).

Checkout the whole story here!

DrugSafe Can Check Your Medicines

Three students from RV College of Engineering: Chidroop I, Pratik Mohapatra, and Srihari HS noticed that one of their friends was not recovering from a disease, even after regularly taking medicines.

On further probe, they discovered to their horror that 50% of all medicines sold in India are fake.

Determined to save others from this illegal trade, they took upon themselves to make a change in this world.

They started working on an app which can detect fake medicines, and it was a success.

They participated in the 2018 Microsoft Imagine Cup world championship held at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, US, and have won $15000 prize money.

They have named the app as ‘DrugSafe’.

Microsoft said, “DrugSafe aims to address the growing global issue of counterfeit drugs by helping people verify the authenticity of medicines,”

How Does This App Work?

Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), the app scans the barcode, packaging and other minute details, and then determines whether the medicine sold is genuine or not.

The students have implemented machine learning, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies into this app, and have made use of software and tools such as Azure Pipelining, Azure ML Studio, Azure CosmosDB, LUIS and Cortana Intelligence Suite.

And that’s not all.

Once the fake medicine has been detected, the app sends the details to a chatbot called “Querla”, which used Artificial Intelligence to report it to concerned authorities, and trigger action as well.

Besides, the app supports a community as well, wherein anyone can participate and seek help or help others in need.

It has not been launched commercially yet.

Imagine Cup is an annual competition wherein Microsoft awards students who make interesting, innovative apps. This year, more than 10,000 students from 50 colleges presented their ideas from India alone, out of which 3 were shortlisted. And DrugSafe came out as eventual winners.

Team smartARM from Canada won the 1st prize in the competition. They have developed a unique camera-assisted prosthetic hands, which can identify the object, and automatically adjusts the grip.

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