Shivanshu Mathur and Raghav Jain, two students pursuing their BTech in Computer Science Engineering at Lovely Professional University, have won the second prize at the NEC India Hackathon 2019 organized by HackerEarth. They received a cash prize of Rs. 1.5 lakh for developing a software they call Medikare. And if it can be tweaked and perfected, it could revolutionize the state of public healthcare in rural India.

Medikare is basically an artificial intelligence software that can perhaps replace a doctor in the diagnosis phase. It essentially uses its machine learning algorithms to analyse the symptoms a patient has, as well as the reports of any medical tests they can provide, and figure out what illness they may be suffering from. Essentially, it’s an automated diagnostician for when you don’t have access to a human one.

In remote locations where there are no doctors at all, this could perhaps provide some form of aid to people in need of medical attention. It would require someone with knowledge of how to operate the system, or would have to be designed with easy usage in mind. But that’s still easier to do than have a years-long trained doctor on hand.