IMB researchers awarded top prizes at Brisbane’s 2016 HealthHack

9 November 2016

Researchers from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) have won first and third prize at Brisbane’s 2016 HealthHack, held 14-16 October at River City Labs.

The winning team, Superfriends Against Superbugs, developed an app to track and map the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and rapidly alert clinicians, so they can limit the spread of bacteria and fight an outbreak in real-time.

The team, which included IMB’s Alan Robertson, Miranda Pitt, Jake Parker and Michael Hall, also won a HealthHack Design Award.

IMB’s Abbi Helfer was part of the Saving Grandpa team that was awarded third place at HealthHack for the development of a more efficient database for management of cardiology patients.

IMB’s Divya Ramnath led a team that took on the challenge to identify suitable patient samples for research, creating technology that will greatly assist researchers and clinicians in the future.

HealthHack is a national event held in numerous cities throughout Australia, bringing together software developers, designers, healthcare professionals, researchers and students, to find innovative solutions to important problems in healthcare and medical research.

Dr Nick Hamilton, who was a problem wrangler and coordinator for HealthHack, said he was impressed with the extremely high quality and importance of all the problems proposed.

“Judges, mentors and participants were astonished with the progress that had been made over only 48 hours,” he said.

“There is no doubt that, like last year, many of the projects initiated at HealthHack will go on to receive further funding and development.”

The Superfriends Against Superbugs team have already met with a potential international investor, and the Saving Grandpa team have met with Queensland Health to investigate how to integrate their solution into the cardiac health care system.

In total, some 15 researchers and students from IMB – including Nick Hamilton, Rosin McMahon, Maggie Hardy, Gilles VanWalleghem, Jenny Martin, Mathilde Desselle, as well as the problem teams – volunteered their time and supported the event as organisers, mentors, judges and ‘problem wranglers’.

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