Ireland-UK, 2019

Three student teams win pitch contest for mobile health E-Lab

26th April 2019

In Galway, Ireland

A hearing device that uses machine learning to support memory recall, a solution to promote habits that are part of a healthier lifestyle and a wearable that dispenses daily medication were judged the top three ideas in a 16 April 2019 pitch contest hosted by NUI Galway as part of the EIT Health mHealth E-Lab.

One of several E-Labs organised by EIT Health Campus, the mHealth E-Lab has the mission of empowering future leaders and innovators in developing “mHealth” applications, which are solutions using mobile devices to improve healthcare.

Remote mHealth care solutions empower patients to take charge of their own health while also addressing the gap between the limited supply of healthcare professionals and the growing needs of an ageing society.

The pitch session of the mHealth E-Lab in Galway, Ireland, was the culmination of an eight-week-long series of workshops designed to support students to develop as a team – and to understand customer discovery, design thinking and the lean canvas. NUI Galway trained more than 30 student innovators to develop novel solutions to real world problems.

The programme focussed on two challenges:

  • supporting those diagnosed with dementia to remain autonomous and independent;
  • supporting those living a sedentary lifestyle whose health has started to deteriorate.

The course continues with online training, and the top performing teams will travel to Spain in June for the mHealth final competition.

  • 1st: Hear Me (pictured), the winning project, is designed to assist people with cognitive decline. The innovation is a hearing device that has a machine-learning aspect to support memory recall, music therapy and voice recognition. The technology adapts and grows with the user.

The winning team are: Ross Dempsey, Harshal Deshmukh, Ketan Udaysingh Bhadoriya, Mark Caffery and Hemant Kumar Surouthia, with backgrounds in physics, business analytics, information systems and exercise physiology. The winning team were mentored by Claire O Sullivan of BioInnovate Ireland.

  • 2nd: Zeel, the second-prize winner, focuses on solving the problem of limited physical activity of individuals who are not motivated and have poor habit-forming techniques. Zeel builds on the human psychology of positive habit-forming and promotes a healthier lifestyle through real rewards and competitive social interactions.

Team Zeel are: Joshua Chao, Laura McDermott, Kevin Lee, Paul Walsh and Ciarán McDermott. The team have backgrounds in Engineering, Science, Business and Medicine. The team were mentored by Dr Robert McEvoy of BioInnovate Ireland.

  • 3rd: Unforgettapil addresses dementia. Market research from dementia care specialists and recently diagnosed patients showed that one problem stood out above the rest: compliance with medication. Unforgettapil tackled this problem through an innovative wearable device that dispenses daily medication. Smart canisters and time-controlled delivery encourages adherence to a medication regime by incorporating it into daily life.

Team Unforgettapil are; Liezel Ravenscroft, Sarah Murphy, Christopher Patti, Corey Cunningham and Balaji Ayyalusamy Seenivasa Raghavan. The students have backgrounds in Medicine, Engineering and Business Analytics. The team were mentored by Damien Moloney of BioInnovate Ireland.

“We are passionate about our programme expanding and creating new international platforms to showcase our growing student innovation community,” said Natalie Walsh, Executive Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad, NUI Galway’s student entrepreneurship hub. “The EIT Health E-Lab is an excellent fit for our campus, particularly given NUI Galway’s position as a global hub for MedTech education, training and innovation. Creating these types of opportunities for our students showcase the value of diversity, inclusiveness and team building to innovative practices, and having access to world class mentors including our colleagues in BioInnovate Ireland, give students a unique and highly valuable experience.”

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