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Hong Kong's Team Hollo takes out 2020 Microsoft Imagine Cup

By Sara Barker
Wed 27 May 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

What is the connection between mental health and machine learning? Those answers and more came to light at this year’s Microsoft Imagine Cup digital event this month.

This year’s world champions are a Hong Kong group called Team Hollo, which won the grand prize for their mental health companion mobile app that uses Azure analytics and AI services to advance youth therapy practices. 

Hollo envisions a future of tech-based, accessible, and comprehensive personal health management tools. As a Smart AI Powered Preventative platform, Hollo is described as a smart AI-powered preventative platform that aims to improve people’s mental health by using machine learning, suggestive diagnosis, therapy, and continual monitoring, facilitating self-help and professional therapeutic services. 

Hollo’s platform also equips therapists and NGOs, who don’t have consistent, quality patient feedback to aid retentive treatment, with a back-end mobile app equipped with empirical and actionable findings on their patients; using the data analysis to enhance time efficiency, and construct predictive models.

In a statement Team Hollo says, “Mental health is a really significant problem faced by society around the world, affecting so many especially in 2020. We’re so excited to win the Imagine Cup World Championship because it will allow us to continue working on this innovative mental health platform and technology.”

“Our journey has definitely reaffirmed our belief that going forward, this is something viable and has the potential to save lives.” 

Team Hollo won US$100,000, a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and US$50,000 in Azure grants.

Runners-up include Team Syrinx from Japan – the team created a neck wearable EL (Electrolarynx) that restores the ability to speak for people who have lost their voices. Team Syrinx and Team Tremor Vision developed a web-based tool that enables physicians to detect early-onset Parkinson’s and quantitatively track patient progress.

This year, thousands of teams worldwide tackled challenges such as healthcare, agriculture, media, and more.

Microsoft’s audience evangelism general manager Jennifer Ritzinger adds that Microsoft Build always impresses and humbles the Microsoft team, and this year is no different.

“Their innovations aim to address issues in their communities and are focused on bringing the world together. With the competition moving into a virtual format for the very first time, it was inspiring to see how the teams came together to pitch their projects to the judges at Microsoft Build’s inaugural digital event.”

Judges included Microsoft president Brad Smith, Reboot Representation CEO Dwana Franklin-Davis, and CyberCode Twins America and Penelope Lopez.

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