UST student nurses win UN Innovation Challenge with Covid-19 AI

UST Covid-19 AI UN Innovation Challenge
UN ITU pitch winners led by team leader Qjiel Mariano.

University of Santo Tomas (UST) student nurses’ Covid-19 anti-misinformation artificial intelligence (AI) pitch has won the Generation Connect Video Pitch Challenge organized by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (UN ITU).

Six junior Thomasian Nursing students’ winning proposal is called the NARS or the Nursing Assistance and Reinforcement System.

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Third-year student nurses led by Qjiel Mariano, Trisha Mangahas, Stephen Marasigan, Ivan Martinez, Zysha Marquez, and Anne Novales formed their team NeoFlorence inspired by the mother of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.

Armed with the knowledge on the current situation of misinformation and disinformation during the pandemic, the team proposed an A.I. to tailor-fit health information to the public.

The team was mentored by Dr. Gian Carlo Torres and Dr. Sarah Maria Salazar, both faculty members of the UST College of Nursing.

Winning the challenge, the nursing students will share their experiences at the Generation Connect Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 4-5 June 2022, preceding the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC). Their winning video will also be flashed to world leaders, innovators, and advocates in telecommunication all around the world in the said events.

Recalling the preparations for the pitch, the student nurses researched extensively on public health situationers, existing solutions, and timely innovations to address the alarming spread of fake news on the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on vaccine rollout. The team cites Nursing Informatics, a course they completed in their second year, as a pivotal factor in understanding the importance of emerging technologies and the Nursing profession.

The ITU is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies. One of their initiatives is Generation Connect. The said initiative aims to engage global youth and encourage their participation as equal partners alongside the leaders of today’s digital change, empowering young people with the skills and opportunities to advance their vision of a connected future. According to the challenge prompt, Internet connection provides opportunities for young people to access education, quality health care, and other necessities. Generation Connect, ITU’s youth strategy initiative, aims to improve the lives of young people around the world and ensure meaningful participation of youth as key stakeholders in ITU’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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