Last month when we announced that Team Eyenaemia from Monash University in Victoria had been selected to represent Australia at the Imagine Cup 2014 World Finals in Seattle, we knew that team members Jennifer Tang and Jarrel Seah were onto something special. Their simple, yet unique use of technology to solve the real-world problem of anaemia, which affects two billion people around the world, truly showcases Australian innovation at its finest.
Today, I am excited to share that this Australian innovation has been recognized on the global stage, with Team Eyenaemia not only winning the World Citizenship category in which it was competing, but taking out the top prize of World Champions of the 12th Imagine Cup as well. Beating 34 other country teams, Jennifer and Jarrel will receive $50,000 in prize money to continue the development of their app, along with a private meeting with Bill Gates to discuss the real-world potential of their solution.
Announced over the weekend at the Imagine Cup World Championship ceremony at the Washington State Convention Centre in Seattle, Team Eyenaemia were named the 2014 Imagine Cup Winners in front of an audience of 5000 students, judges, media and Microsoft employees, with the award presented to them by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
The Eyenaemia app works by calculating the risk of anaemia by analysing a photo of the eye captured by the user. The photo is then sent over a secure connection to a cloud-based server, which sends a risk assessment back to the phone, putting years of medical training into the hands of untrained users. Team Eyenaemia has obtained National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC) approval to conduct a research project collecting real patient data to develop the model.
Throughout the development of the app, team members Jarrel (software developer) and Jennifer (interface, design, branding and marketing) focused on simplifying medical technology to implement an easy to use solution for high-risk groups such as pre-school children and pregnant women.
Microsoft awarded cash and other prizes to the winning teams, valued at more than $1 million across the year-long Imagine Cup program. Other prizes include boot camps focused on career skills and project support, plus airfare and accommodation packages, and awards for the winning teams at the World Finals event this week.
I look forward to seeing what comes next from Team Eyenaemia and am thrilled to see such a great example of Aussie innovation being recognized on a global level.