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Winners of UTC student health challenge announced

The winners of the APEX Student Challenge, which tasked UTC students with designing solutions to issues patients experienced on their treatment journey, have been revealed.

The challenge was unveiled at the end of the November’s APEX (Advanced Patient Experience) Student Conference at UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

During the conference, 118 students from four UTCs attended five interactive workshop sessions by Google Health UK, The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), Sheffield Hallam University, University Campus Doncaster, and LivingCare Centre.

The day finished with the unveiling of a challenge for students, where they were asked to come up with their own digital solutions to issues that patients experience along their treatment journey.

Students worked on their entries between November and February and were judged by Andy Smout, Vice President (Research) at Canon Medical Research Europe Ltd; Dr Rujuta Sanap, Customer Engineer, Public Sector (Healthcare and Research) at Google; and Amy Sutcliffe, UTC Projects Coordinator at Baker Dearing Educational Trust.

There were 35 entries to the competition overall from Liverpool Life Sciences UTC, UTC Derby Pride Park , University Collegiate School Bolton and UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. The judges had a hard time making a decision due to the high standard of the entries overall.

First prize goes to well-researched deaf simulator

First prize went to Tate Kavanh from Liverpool Life Sciences UTC for his Deaf Simulation Training (pictured top) to help medical practitioners to understand what it is like for those with hearing impairments and hearing loss.

Tate took his inspiration from his own experiences with hearing impairment and received extra points for not only researching the problem domain, but also the aspects of technology that could deliver a solution. He also referenced his research well.

Tate has received an Oculus Quest 3 VR Headset for his UTC and a £20 Amazon Voucher for himself.

Second prize went to William O’Connell from Liverpool Life Sciences UTC for his Specialised Tourniquet Mobile App to ensure that fewer people die unnecessarily from blood loss when they are injured.

Judges were struck by the compelling use of first-hand accounts from William’s father and grandfather of situations where the correct application of a tourniquet would have made a massive difference.

William wins a £10 Amazon Voucher.

Third prize went to Phoebe Morris from Liverpool Life Sciences UTC for her Interpretive Hearing Device Mobile App for reducing the language barrier that can impact on access to healthcare.

What stood out to judges was the consideration that Phoebe had given to what already existed in terms of interpretation software and took all the best features from these to create a better version.

Phoebe wins a £5 Amazon Voucher.

The judges felt compelled to give Evie, Megan and Saaniya from University Collegiate School in Bolton (pictured above) a commendation for their entry of a Therapy App to combat mental health issues. The judges were impressed with the depth of the students’ research and the excellent survey of existing apps, which enabled them to develop an innovative solution.

Even though they did not score as highly overall as the top three entries, the judges have decided to award them each a £5 Amazon Voucher as well.

Judges praise ‘imaginative ideas’ from students to improve health care

Andy Smout commented that it was:

“Very exciting to see the imaginative ideas that participants in the APEX Student Challenge have come up with, and their passion to help improve healthcare provision is truly inspiring.

“Competitions such as this help to raise awareness not only of the significant challenges facing the NHS but also of the exciting new technologies that are now emerging which could help to solve some of these challenges.”

Dr Sanap said:

“It was really exciting to judge the APEX Student Challenge. I was genuinely impressed by the talent and innovation on display.

“The student projects were fantastic in addressing some of the hidden and prominent challenges in healthcare. There were fresh and unique ideas and it’s inspiring to see such creativity. All the entries showcased immense potential for technology to revolutionize healthcare.

“We are at the forefront of digital transformation today. Usually the most complex problems have very simple solutions. The students actually identified simple solutions to big problems. It’s the idea that matters, one revolutionary idea, one brilliant innovation can revolutionize healthcare in ways you can never predict. I was particularly struck by the student’s passion for improving healthcare and gives me great hope. I am excited to see how these students continue to develop their ideas and bring positive change in healthcare.”

Amy Sutcliffe said:

“The breadth of the solutions that the students came up with was really striking and it was obvious how much effort had gone into their presentations.”

Baker Dearing Educational Trust would like to congratulate all students who took part in the APEX Student Challenge and looks forward to the next APEX Student Digital Health Conference in November 2024.