Design Aid recipients to take a stance on homelessness, autism and mental health

We are pleased to announce the 2018 Design Aid recipients. Three participants were selected by our judges this year. They were: Ask Izzy, an Infoxchange mobile website that helps people in need find basic services such as housing and meals; the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is creating an educational platform for autism; and Innate. Innate is a startup looking at how gamification can help to improve mental resilience through cognitive behavioural therapy.

Design Aid is an annual program that provides underfunded digital health projects with access to world-class design. The week-long intensive design program allows recipients to bring their products to the next level.

Each recipient uses emerging technology to address difficult health issues. Ask Izzy is a great example. With funding from Telstra Foundation’s Tech4Good Challenge, we will collaborate with Infoxchange to improve the user experience of the voice assistant technology they are bringing to their site. Ask Izzy will be able to help young people in crisis through this technology.

David Spriggs is Infoxchange’s CEO. “Young people at high risk of becoming homeless often face unemployment, family violence and mental health issues. Relationship breakdowns can also occur due to their sexuality being revealed.

“Voice-activated technology allows young people a more personal and conversational way to get support and services. This technology is particularly beneficial to people with low literacy, limited mobility, vision impairment, or who speak English as a second language.

“We want the youth homelessness cycle to end before it spirals out of control.”

As design becomes more important in the health sector, our Design Aid program is growing in popularity. This year we received almost twice the number of applications as last year. Surprisingly, startups were just half of the applications. Universities, government-funded health organizations and smaller software companies made up the remainder. Our judging panel could not make an easy decision, but we are proud to have been able to help with these important projects.

We noticed a few trends in the applications, which were indicative of larger industry changes. First, mobile apps are being used to encourage positive behaviour change. Many people are creating telehealth and in-home monitoring services to address the issues of isolation or access. People are also turning to new technologies (e.g. Finally, people are turning to emerging technologies (e.g., blockchain, voice and mobile) to streamline processes and lower the burden on the healthcare system.

The following were other finalists from this year’s batch:

  • Lumen is a startup that offers a simple 17″ touch screen app to assist elderly people in keeping in touch with their families and carers.
  • The first check is a skin-check app that takes selfies of moles/spots and sends them to Australian dermatologists for review.
  • Care Collaborator is a mobile software solution that allows you to quickly onboard your home care customer on the first visit.
  • Report Injury is an online platform for managing sports injuries. It streamlines injury documentation and management across all sports.

The judge’s panel included some of the most respected leaders in the space of health technology, such as Darian Eckersley of ADHA, Dr Linny Khly Phuong at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Dinah Graham of MIMS, Brendonwickham, Fred Hersch and Rachel De Sain of Codesign.

This year, we were extremely fortunate to have such a high-calibre group of judges. The judges were not only able to vote but also provided valuable feedback and insights for all applicants.

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