Monday 06 March 2017
AUST Engineering and Computer Science Team Wins the Alfa & Ericsson Internet of Things (IoT) First Award

With the objective of demonstrating the potentials of the Lebanese youth and promoting the Internet of Things (IoT) in Lebanon, Alfa and Ericsson - Two Renowned Giant Enterprises in Telecommunication - jointly launched the “Alfa & Ericsson IoT Award” competition in November 2016 in collaboration with the Young Professionals Affinity Group of the Lebanon Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Twenty teams from eleven universities joined this multi-phase national competition. The teams were constituted of senior-year students majoring mainly in telecommunication, computer, and electrical engineering and in computer science. The Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at the American University of Science and Technology nominated two candidates to join this competition: Mr. Hady Zanbarakji from the Department of Computer & Communications Engineering and Mr. Elie Kfoury from the Department of Computer Science.
The project is entitled “IoTrust: eHealth monitoring & reporting device”. IoTrust is an eHealth IoT device for real-time patient monitoring and anomaly reporting. It provides an environment in which a patient can be remotely monitored by a number of referenced people and assisted upon need. The IoTrust Arduino-based wearable device publishes the patient’s health conditions and the GPS coordinates in case of an anomaly occurrence, such as fluctuation in heart pulses and fall incidence. Patient’s personal information are filled via a web form during device acquisition and then stored in a database. The broker dispatches all messages through notifications to the right Android devices that are subscribed to the topic, notifying them about the situation. Upon receiving a notification, the user can easily visualize the patient’s conditions and locate their position on Google maps, which provides the routing to destination feature. The user has also the ability to call the patient when an incident happens in order to check on user’s status. Moreover, an emergency request can be triggered from the reference person to the closest Red Cross center, indicating the patient’s location and the medical information. As a result, the Red Cross can adequately prepare their team before arriving to the device’s location, thus reaching the patient in a short period of time. If there is no data coverage at the patient’s location, an SMS is sent from the IoT device to all subscribed reference people. These people can also monitor the patient, even if no anomaly occurred, by instructing the IoT device to publish temporary data. The target segment of this solution can be divided into three categories: the first being the elderly in general and specifically the people that have the stated disabilities; the second category is the hospitals and pharmacies which will be providing or selling these devices; and, finally the public safety organizations.

The competition was run for eight-weeks through which the students were invited to present ideas related to the world of IoT, mainly in the areas of smart technologies and connected devices, before a jury of experts that ended up nominating the five teams to qualify for the final round among which was the IoTrust team. It is worth noting that one of the jury members was Mr. Michel Owayjan, Chair of the Department of Mechatronics Engineering at AUST.

The awards ceremony of the Alfa & Ericsson IoT competition was held on February 20, 2017, at the Hilton Metropolitan Hotel in Beirut, under the auspices of His Excellency the Minister of Telecommunications Mr. Jamal Jarrah represented by his adviser Mr. Nabil Yamout. The event was attended by Alfa CEO and Chairman Mr. Marwan Hayek, the Head of Ericsson North Middle East region Mr. Mohamad Dergham, as well as officials from the Ministry of Telecommunications, Alfa, Ericsson, IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Group. This is in addition to university representatives and students, and the media. AUST was noticeably present during this ceremony by: Dr. Ziad O. Abu-Faraj, Dean – Faculty of Engineering; Dr. Roger R. Achkar, Chair – Department of Computer & Communications Engineering; Mr. Michel J. Owayjan, Chair – Department of Mechatronics Engineering, and Participating Team Hardware Mentor; Dr. Saeed Raheel, Chair – Department of Computer Science; and, Mr. David Khoury, Instructor in the Departments of Computer Science and Information & Communications Technology, and Participating Team Software Mentor.

The closing ceremony jury was composed of Messrs. Hayek, Yamout, and Dergham, who evaluated the top-five projects based on their: i) creative and innovative development, ii) business case, and iii) implementation.
The three winning teams were announced as follows: First Place – IoTrust from the American University of Science and Technology; Second Place – Brainiacs from Beirut Arab University; and, Third Place – UNIT from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik. The winning team received a $5000 cash prize, while the second and third teams received $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. Members of the winning teams also received the opportunity to prospectively participate in training programs with Alfa and Ericsson, and certificates of appreciation were distributed to the participating teams.

AUST would like to congratulate Hady Zanbarakji and Elie Kfoury for their remarkable achievement!

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