The finals of Microsoft’ Imagine Cup, the world’s largest student technology competition, are taking place in Sydney this week and StethoCloud, the Melbourne-based home team, is definitely making a good case for Australia’s growing tech scene. The competition’s theme challenged students to build apps that “help solve the toughest problems” and the Australian team decided to tackle childhood pneumonia, which – despite the fact that it’s highly curable when detected early – sadly still kills more children than measles, malaria and HIV combined. The key to survival, says the Australian team, is to detect the illness early, but that’s obviously not easy for community health workers or unskilled staff in developing countries.

Using a Windows 7 phone (this is a Microsoft competition after all) and a digital stethoscope combined with the StethoCloud software running on the phone and in the cloud, the service’s backend can analyze a patient’s breathing patterns…

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