A team of RMIT engineering students has won the Telstra University Challenge for a device that can share electrocardiogram data between medical professionals – from paramedics to specialists.
The Medical Engineering Database Solution (MEDS) team from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering beat 21 groups from 11 Australian universities, including finalists from La Trobe University and the University of New South Wales.
The aim of the challenge is to explore ideas that will help create a connected world and benefit the Australian community.
Each team is given 14 weeks to design and build a solution and business case using Telstra hardware and software, with finalists invited to pitch their ideas to Telstra executives and technology leaders.
The winning RMIT team were Bachelor of Engineering students Jaad Cabbabe, Joshua Matthews, Cameron Nesbitt, Nadhila Noor, Elizabeth Duong, and Matthew Innes.
As part of their third year design subject, the group developed a system that can transmit ECG scans from patients between medical professionals to reduce the wait for diagnosis and treatment, and improve patient outcomes.
Dr Samuel Ippolito, from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the academic supervisor for the Telstra University Challenge and said the selection process was competitive.
“Typically the students who apply for this project are high achievers who are dedicated and prepared to go the extra mile to achieve their goals,” Ippolito said.
“They have foresight and know that these types of projects are key to distinguishing themselves from the rest of the pack.”
One of the requirements for eligibility is a technically skilled and diverse team.
“The students came up with the MEDS idea as part of their Engineering Design course where each member is asked to propose at least one project idea, write up a small blurb and assess the suitability of the project,” Ippolito said.
“They then work on the technical design blueprint, complete SWOT and risk analysis reports and submit a 3000 word project outline which, if successful, is pitched to Telstra in video format.”
Team leader Jaad Cabbabe said the project had been a great experience.
“We’ve had a great team from the start, and we’re honoured to have been named winners,” Cabbabe said.
"We were confident in our idea and capabilities, and received encouraging feedback from industry about what we're trying to achieve.
“There is now quite a bit of enthusiasm to push this idea to become a real commercial product.”
As part of their prize, the students will receive coaching and mentoring from Telstra executives and will be fast-tracked for consideration into the muru-D boot camp program (a start-up incubator).
They were also awarded a $10,000 grant for their university and mobile phones from Samsung.
Story: Rebecca McGillivray