At the IEEE ISBI2024 popular vote pitch competition(*1) held in Athens, Greece, May 27-30, 2024, Doctoral student, Mr. WENG Weihao, (advisor: Prof. ZHU Xin,(*2)) won the "Popular vote" special prize. He was also qualified to participate in the next accelerator program of StartSmart(*3).
 The proposed project is, titled "Advancing Health Equity Through Accessible Skin Disease Detection." The project is to use video cameras to analyze skin health when distributing food to low-income people in Europe and the United States. This was inspired by another joint research project with Fukushima Medical University.

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Comments from Mr. WENG Weihao:
 ISBI is a premier conference in medical image analysis. One of our papers analyzing endoscopy has been accepted for this year's ISBI; therefore, I was qualified to participate in ISBI.
In recent years, various medical analysis methods have emerged, but there are only a few successful examples in the actual applications of image analysis methods. Since last year, ISBI has started a pitch competition, aiming to promote the practical application of various image analysis methods through the development of startups.
 I have had the fortunate opportunity to participate in two exchange programs with schools in Europe. During those days, I discovered that even in the capitals of developed countries, there are many people experiencing homelessness. It is hard to imagine how many more people are in need outside the capitals. Therefore, I am always hoping to help these people.
 Taking advantage of this opportunity, we have outlined a blueprint for providing food and medical care to these often-overlooked groups. In our vision, this organization would be able to sustainably support these individuals without relying on donations. Moreover, it could also promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in AI development.

Comments from Prof. ZHU Xin:
 The IEEE ISBI conference is held every spring and is a top conference in the field of medical imaging and processing. Since last year, they have introduced Industrial Days and a pitch competition for entrepreneurial projects, with some winning projects having received investments from venture capitalists.This time, a paper compiled from our joint research with Fukushima Medical University was accepted by IEEE ISBI 2024, allowing us to participate in the conference.
 Thinking that a general presentation alone might be a bit dull, I encouraged Mr. Weng to participate in the pitch competition. Despite being very busy, Mr. Weng came up with a good idea and submitted it. Fortunately, our project was selected by the competition's organizing committee as one of the five themes qualified for an oral presentation. We worked overnight preparing the presentation materials, and upon arriving at the venue, we realized that our team was the only one from an academic institution, while the other four teams were all venture companies. Mr. Weng, although nervous, completed the presentation on stage and managed to answer the tough questions from the competition committee. Just when we thought it was over, during the dinner party after the lecture, an unknown attendee expressed surprise, saying, "A team can capture a person's health information with just one video camera!" Apparently, our presentation had a significant impact. With no further communication until the last day, we initially did not plan to attend the closing ceremony, but we decided to join and applaud the winners of the best paper and poster awards.
 Finally, the winning teams of the pitch competition were announced. To our amazement, our project "Advancing Health Equity Through Accessible Skin Disease Detection" was displayed on the screen as the winner of the "Popular Vote" Special Prize. Mr. Weng, overwhelmed with surprise, was too shy to raise his head while holding the award certificate, and everyone laughed and congratulated him. Well done, Mr. Weng! Keep challenging yourself with various endeavors from now on!

*1 IEEE ISBI2024 popular vote pitch competition

*2 Senior Associate Professor ZHU Xin

*3 StartSmart