Students' health app could prove winner

HARRY PEARL
Last updated 05:00 28/01/2013

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Four Waikato University students have come up with an innovative way to collect, store and update medical records in third-world countries.

Jesse Howse, Michael Watson, Haley Littlewood and Kieran Thomson, are developing a multi-party, easily updateable smartphone app that will keep vaccination records and remind individuals of when they're due for a booster shot.

The team of four, appropriately named Team APPortunists, is one of two teams from Waikato to secure a place in the 2013 Microsoft New Zealand Imagine Cup finals.

The technology competition is the world's largest, with entries from around the globe creating software using Microsoft applications.

Ms Howse, 19, a first-year management student at Waikato University, said time she and fellow team-mate Michael Watson spent in Ghana and Cambodia respectively, was the catalyst for developing the technology.

"In the developing world health is a massive issue.

"Healthcare and being able to collect and keep accurate medical records is a huge problem."

The app will keep records for individuals and families and will notify users via text. When the user is connected to wifi it will also notify them of any updates or new vaccines.

"There are medical apps out there but most of them are self-serving, rather than working together with your doctor.

"And a lot of them are aimed at the first world," Ms Howse said.

The team has also been working on an app for the developed world, which will provide easy access to a user's medical records.

"In the first world, just remembering the vaccines you require could make a massive difference," Ms Howse said.

The Microsoft NZ Imagine Cup will be held in Auckland, March 24-25, where the team will present their app to a panel of judges and be offered the opportunity to chat with investors.

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- Waikato Times

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