Improve diagnosis and reduce unnecessary interventions in newborn babies.
— Luke Wainwright & Sue Hampton


Improve diagnosis and reduce unnecessary interventions in newborn babies.

When assessing neonates, Midwives and Doctors too often mistake normal presentations as signs of disease. When this results in unnecessary procedures being performed it can cause distress to the baby / family, be unnecessarily risky and costly. Educational programs to address this issue are currently delivered using neonatal manikins that don’t accurately reflect the clinical signs. 

The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Neonatal and Midwifery team currently provides education for junior doctors, neonatal nurses and midwives for correct examination of babies and identification of normal and abnormal variations to presentation. Improving the educational program for these practitioners may reduce unnecessary tests and improve diagnosis of neonatal conditions.

We would like to create an augmented reality animated full body overlay of a neonatal manikin with a suite of clinical conditions. The idea would be that the clinical expert would hold a tablet over the manikin and show the learners a variety of presentations. This would be followed by a discussion on the assessment, diagnosis and the correct management of the patient.

We have professional full body images (front and back) taken a couple of weeks ago at the Royal Brisbane of a new baby that we have consent from the mother to use. We have secured the use of  a state of the art $30,000 human patient simulator called SimNewB to use for the overlay. We also have the education package and an extensive collection of photos neonatal presentations to inform the group.

— Nina Ginsberg


My PhD research explores how bicycles can enable or constrain rural Africa girls’ access to education. Many girls are finding ways to cope with living in a gendered mobility crisis shaped by severe poverty, cultural restrictions and rural isolation and being able to use a bicycle can be a way of getting more quickly and safely to school. However, there are physical, geographical and climatic limitations to this. Unlike other educational research that focuses on socio-cultural, policy or pedagogy interventions, the central focus for my project is the bicycle itself and the materiality of riding to and from school. This means paying close attention to the locally situated ‘emplaced’ minutiae. Part of my fieldwork includes undertaking a school-to-home bicycle ride in order to capture, explore and interrogate the various material, embodied, affective and environmental elements that co-create a local school ride experience. I am using a range of health, biometric and geographical sensors/devices to track and monitor this experience. The challenge is how to best display and synthesis these (data) elements into a cohesive representation.

To achieve this, I would like to build a dashboard called BioMap. BioMap combines a range of biometric, sensory, health, geographic and environmental overlays into one single, easy-to-use, interactive data visualization. The display includes a map of Africa that can be zoomed in and out of and different overlays can be turn on and off. BioMap is needed to show the complex, interrelated and unique environmental and bodily forces that local girls contend with as they make their school journeys on bikes. This solution will be an invaluable and original contribution to expanding current understandings of the local conditions these girls travel through.

Donate a mole
— Dr Brigid Betz-Stablein on behalf of Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute


Melanoma rates continue to increase in Australia, with Australian incidence 12 times the global average. It is the most common cancer in people aged 15-39, and the third most common cancer for both men and women. Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, however in men they are most common on the back and in women on the lower limbs. While the areas in which melanomas more commonly are known, it is unknown whether there are ‘hotspots’ within these areas.

We propose to create an app which allows for people to participate in our research  at the UQ Dermatology Research Centre (DRC), a world leading team of clinical and laboratory research groups studying skin cancer, utilizing the state-of-the-art research infrastructure at the Translational Research Institute. We aim to empower Australians to become citizen scientists by using the tool that everyone has in their back pocket, their mobile phone. By “donating a mole”, we hope it will increase awareness of skin cancer risk, while contributing to a world renowned research program. Ideally, we would like the public to be able to donate an image of a mole, and provide a location of that mole. The images will then form an image database of moles, suspicious lesions, and melanomas that will assist researchers in identifying melanoma ‘hotspots’.

OMED Assist – Opioid medication assistance for people with chronic pain
— Rachel Elphinston


Chronic pain is often treated by prescription opioid therapy. But a significant number of people misuse their opioid medications while others do not realise that long-term use is ineffective for pain. Use of these medications puts people at risk of future harm including adverse effects, dependence, and even death. Currently, access to specialised treatment is poor and there are few interventions that have been developed to address this problem.

A brief, well-designed web-app intervention ‘OMED Assist’ could assist people to manage their opioid medications, identify potentially harmful medication use and move them towards considering more safer treatment options.

We want to work with people who have the design and technological expertise to transform a hard copy outline of session 1 into a minimal viable product that can be built on over the next 6-12 months. We have a vision to disrupt pain care through better access to digital health solutions that can solve both problems of chronic pain and opioid misuse.


Understanding Medicinal Cannabis and its Prescription
— Monique Lewis and John Flood


Currently, there is no single ‘go to’ place for practitioners or patients to find comprehensive and user-friendly information about medicinal cannabis access, laws, safety, efficacy, and quality in Australia. An Australian-based cannabis information website would address this problem.

There is gathering evidence that medicinal cannabis (MC) is effective and beneficial in a number of medical cases, such as controlling epileptic fits, pain caused by cancers, the progress of multiple sclerosis, nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, and severe wasting in advanced HIV and cancer. The use of MC is hampered by its hitherto illegal status in a number of countries, including Australia and the USA. 

Despite this illegality, many jurisdictions have made and are making cannabis legal for either medical use or medical and recreational use. The medical use is distinct from cannabis’ recreational effects. It is not about “getting high” but rather identifying the aspects of cannabis that can help with the conditions outlined above. 

More and more scientific research is being undertaken to isolate and identify the cannabinoids like CBD and THC so we know which sets of molecules work with particular conditions. There are also numerous clinical trials underway in Australia and internationally. This evidence is scattered and of varying standards. We would like to build a website where we can classify evidence in terms of its scientific rigor across a spectrum from conventional scientific methods to other types of methods such as anthropological, case study, and self-reporting. In this respect the website should be able to cascade the evidence according to the method’s location on the spectrum. This will make it useful to practitioners, medical and complementary/alternative, regulators, and potential patients/users. 

Reducing stress in hospital for younger children
— Finlay and Arwen Canavan


For younger children hospital visits as emergency, elective and inpatient service may find it difficult to express their needs such as pain, anxiety, toileting etc. There is currently no simple solution to help younger children to express their needs other than via parents, guardians, teachers, and staff such as play therapists.

Why do you want to solve this problem?

To improve child welfare during contact with hospital

Vac Track, An easy method to record and track your vaccinations.
— Nicole Atcheson


In our busy lives, it is hard to keep track of all the information we need. Who can remember when they had their last tetanus shot? The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is supposed to record vaccinations for all Australians, but it relies on the vaccination provider to upload or pass on the vaccination details. A number of occupations require mandatory vaccinations and proof of vaccination. If it has not been recorded on AIR, then the individual must keep paper records. An easy and effective way for individuals to record and track vaccinations is required. Additionally adults comprise 92% of all unvaccinated population in Australia, resulting in disease outbreaks. Lack of vaccination records is considered one of the contributing factors.

Solving this problem may help improve vaccination records for the individual, organisations and the health system.

Infectious diseases diagnosis using smart phone in developing countries
— Ameh James, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland


It is a common practice in developing countries for a medical laboratory professionals and clinicians to use a dipstick to detect and interpret a suspected disease like malaria using the naked eye.

This visual interpretation has been shown to be unreliable or inconsistent, because it could be interpreted differently by different testers. For example, 100 to 1,000 copies of DNA per microlitre as shown below could be interpreted as either positive or negative depending on the person viewing it.  Also, the interpretation of the dipstick lines cannot tell the health professionals an estimate of the amount of the disease that is present in the body fluid before, during and after treatment of the disease.

This sort of problem could lead to inaccurate diagnosis for the patient, and inability of the clinicians to monitor treatment in order to determine a successful outcome. The lack of treatment follow-up poses a challenge to assess antibiotics sensitivity or resistance from specific infectious disease. 

Appointment Reminder Translation Tool
— David Yohan


Currently as a service, we identify consumers who need an interpreter and/or translator and engage these services with consumers who;

  • are not able to speak English at all and/or

  • have a low level of English proficiency

  • cannot read English

Generally, services do a good job to identify and engage interpreters and/or translators when needed. However, the problems start once consumers leave these services with a need for follow up appointments. We as a service have already identified that the consumer is not able to speak, read nor write in English, yet all future communications and appointment letters are sent in English and as a result, the following occur:

  • Higher risk of non-attendance of Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) patients due to their inability to read and understand information provided in English in their appointment letters for future appointments.

  • Increased costs of interpreter services that are incurred when a CALD patient does not attend their appointment or cancels their outpatient appointment without provided adequate notice.

  • Negative impact on CALD patients’ health status and wellbeing due to their limited health literacy and lack of health knowledge and/or misunderstanding of health information.

  • Longer waiting times for patients due to rescheduled missed appointments.

  • Lost capacity within the clinics due to rescheduled missed appointments.

  • Increase cost of resources used to manage follow-up and rebook of patients’ appointments.


banner image courtesy of Dr Nick Hamilton