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Posts Tagged ‘telehealth’

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Would you trust a robot with your life?

Trusting robots to relay a medical diagnosis was the focus of University of Queensland PhD student Teegan Green’s winning UQ Three Minute Thesis (3MT) presentation at Customs House.

As the winner of this year’s UQ 3MT Final, Ms Green from the UQ Business School will go through to the 3MT Trans-Tasman competition at UQ on Oct. 2, 2015.

UQ Business School

Teegan Green’s research focuses on tele-health technologies (Photo credit: UQ)

In a tightly fought contest, Ms Green edged out the runner-up and People’s Choice winner Shaun Chen from the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, who spoke about his research investigating ways to help international students in engineering.

Ms Green’s research focuses on telehealth, and why the use of common technologies such as phone, video conferencing and email is still an uncommon medium to deliver a clinical diagnosis.

“This is surprising because of the benefits that exist for patients, particularly those that are living in rural and remote areas,” Ms Green said.

“We need to develop more efficient, effective and scalable ways to decrease the tyranny of distance that exists for rural and remote patients, and better cater to our ageing population.”

Ms Green said her research showed that one of the key issues is trust.

“Trust is crucial to how we communicate,” said Ms Green. “Non-verbal communication makes up most of our communication in terms of facial expressions and body gestures.”

Ms Green says the challenge is the difficulty to incorporate into technology these non-verbal cues that facilitate trust.

“If we can already remove the doctor from the room, and from the same time zone, what happens when eventually we can remove the doctor altogether,” she said.

“I would like to thank my supervisors, Dr Nicole Gillespie and Dr Nicole Hartley from the UQ Business School, and Associate Professor Anthony Smith.”

3MT is a competition that challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a general audience in just three minutes.

The concept sprang from the UQ Graduate School in 2008, and competitions are now run in over 200 institutions internationally.

The event was hosted by the ABC’s Steve Cannane and the judging panel included Queensland Chief Scientist Dr Geoff Garrett.

​As the winner of the 3MT UQ Final, Ms Green was awarded a $5000 travel grant and will challenge competitors from more than 45 universities across the Asia-Pacific in the Trans-Tasman 3MT Final at UQ.

UQ Graduate School Dean Professor McEwan said the 3MT competition was an opportunity to showcase the outstanding contribution that UQ research students make to their fields, as part of their training.

“Research students at UQ develop sophisticated research skills and can provide amazing insight,” Professor McEwan said.

“3MT highlights the value of research students being able to communicate their work to a variety of audiences, from government to industry, and to the people who will benefit from their research.

“These communication skills are vital for the development of a knowledge economy.

“Communication can speed the translation of great research and outstanding outcomes for society and business.”


Do you have questions about UQ Business School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Business Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free at 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

UQ works on mobile health app

The cough is the single most common reason for a trip to the doctor, placing enormous strain on Australia’s healthcare system, but a new mobile health tool being developed by the University of Queensland could ease pressure on doctors and lower consumers’ health bills.

UQ Engineering School

UQ Associate Professor Udantha Abeyratne (Photo credit: UQ)

UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering’s Associate Professor Udantha Abeyratne said the mobile application was based on an automated algorithm that could use sound alone to diagnose respiratory conditions such as pneumonia and asthma, without the need for additional hardware.

“The technology is based on the premise that cough and breathing sounds carry vital information on the state of the respiratory tract,” Dr Abeyrante said.

Recently commercialised by spin-off company ResApp, the new diagnostic tool will allow doctors to diagnose and monitor respiratory diseases via a smartphone application.

ResApp has already secured more than $4 million to develop the technology and launch it into the marketplace.

“I initially started developing this technology with the assistance of funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2009,” Dr Abeyratne said.

“So it’s incredibly pleasing to see it go beyond the initial conception stage, right through to UQ signing commercialisation agreements with external companies.”

Launched on the Australian Stock Exchange this month, ResApp is one of only a handful of UQ companies to be publicly listed.

Licensed with the assistance of UQ commercialisation arm UniQuest, ResApp is expected to lead to cost savings for consumers, insurers and governments through shorter consultation times, the ability to use telehealth solutions and a reduced use of antibiotics.

With the capability to function over multiple platforms such as smartphones, web, wearable and medical devices, potential markets for this technology range from smartphone users to telehealth providers and organisations such as the World Health Organisation.

ResApp CEO Tony Keating said the application was expected to be available in 2016.

“ResApp is excited to be working closely with Associate Professor Abeyratne’s team at the University of Queensland to commercialise technology that brings the power of a true medical diagnostic tool to everybody who owns a smartphone,” Mr Keating said.

Dr Abeyratne said he would like to see the technology clinically verified and FDA approved.

“My aim is for it to be implemented on mobile phones and other ubiquitous computing devices, empowering and enhancing patient participation in managing respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, asthma and whooping cough,” Dr Aberyratne said.

“Pneumonia alone kills about one million children every year, largely in remote resource-poor regions of the world.”


About the UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Located within the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, the School of ITEE is at the forefront of research, teaching and learning across the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) and Engineering disciplines.

The School of ITEE offers a multifaceted suite of teaching programs, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, in Information Technology, Engineering Hardware, Software and Information Management, Human-Computer Interaction and Multimedia Design.


Would you like more information about IT and engineering programs available at the University of Queensland? Contact OzTREKK’s Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.