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2014 Press Releases

App earns UCC researcher TEDMED place

29 Jul 2014
Pictured: Siobhán O’Connor

An app that will provide lifesaving support to healthcare workers in remote Africa has earned researcher Siobhán O’Connor a prestigious TEDMED Frontline Scholarship.

Siobhán O'Connor, a first year PhD student in the Department of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems at UCC who hails from Kanturk in North Cork, will now be able to attend the world-renowned TEDMED event in Washington DC this September.

Siobhán will showcase a smartphone app called ‘Supporting LIFE’ that was brought to fruition by a team of researchers at UCC and Imperial College London (ICL). The app was developed by UCC software engineer Dr Timothy O’Sullivan.

Supporting LIFE, led by UCC’s Dr John O’Donoghue, is an android-based app designed to support community healthcare workers in remote and rural parts of Africa. Funded under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme, it equips users with a number of features including a clinical decision support toolkit, a patient assessment and triaging application, and a training platform to educate and empower local healthcare workers in community case management.

Commenting on her award, Siobhán says, “I think the novelty of the mobile app we’re creating at UCC and ICL, the impact it will have on the ground in Malawi, and my multidisciplinary background in informatics and nursing is what interested the judging panel. It was always a dream of mine to attend TEDMED, I’ve been watching it online for years, so to be there to experience it in person will be really exciting.”

The news follows the recent announcement that Prof John Cryan, Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at UCC and principal investigator in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center, UCC has been invited to speak at the conference. He was recently named among the world’s top 3,000 researchers by Thomson Reuters. He will speak at the ‘Weird and Wonderful’ session – covering science and health trends that “come out of left field, defied expectations or simply seem completely off the wall, in a good way.”

TEDMED is a global community of researchers, academics, entrepreneurs, social thinkers and policy makers dedicated to unlocking imagination in service of health and medicine. TEDMED holds its annual conference at the John F. Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts in Washington DC where talks combine health, information and technology with compelling personal stories and innovations at the forefront of medicine and health.

See and for more information on the app. 

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