Logo: University of Southern California

Viterbi CS Team Takes Silver in Seoul

David Wilczynski coaches undergrads Darryl Deweese and William Everton to a second place finish at international Capstone Design Competition

January 13, 2011 —

The Viterbi team's iPad app, "eChecklists in Healthcare," won second prize in stiff 41-team competition
Two Viterbi School computer science students created an IPad application that computerizes medical checklists with the aim of minimizing errors by hospital personnel.  Then they took it to the 2010 International Capstone Design Fair.

The pair, mentored by David Wilczynski, a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, competed against 41 entrants from 20 universities at the fair at South Korea's Seoul National University of Science and Technology. Their entry, entitled “eChecklists in Healthcare” rose above the pack for a second place finish.

The work was inspired by the research of Johns Hopkins anesthesiologist Peter Pronovost. Pronovost had found that many infections occur following the insertion of central line catheters into patients, and went on to show that strict adherence by doctors and nurses to steps on a paper checklist during catheter insertion reduced the likelihood of infection to nearly zero.

The iPad “eChecklist” was a natural evolution from paper, allowing checklists to be tailored to individual patient profiles and specific settings, and also asserted post-conditions as doctors checked off items.

The Viterbi students, seniors Darryl Deweese and William Everton, built the prototype and designed the poster for the competition.

Capstone 2
CS senior Darryl Deweese, who partnered with fellow senior William Everton on the eChecklist application, explains their prizewinning project to visitors
  “The whole experience was refreshing,” said Wilczynski, “I have an entirely new outlook on foreign students.” Wilczynski described them as “bright eyed, enthusiastic, friendly, and stupendously competent."

This marked the first time USC has competed at the bi-annual International Capstone Design Fair, which aims to foster student awareness of and aptitude for engineering professions and research. Celebrating internationalism is also key and academics from institutions all over the globe showcase student talents in a variety of disciplines.

The design entrants included projects as diverse as home pollution monitoring systems and home safety devices centered around smart phones. The winning entry, from Korea University of Technology and Education, was a robot that showed emotions from the things happening around it.