Thursday 22 March 2018

Local student wins prestigious scholarship

AN app that will provide lifesaving support to healthcare workers in remote Africa has earned Siobhán O'Connor, a first year PhD student at UCC, a prestigious TEDMED Frontline Scholarship.

Siobhán, who hails from Kanturk, will now be able to attend the world-renowned TEDMED event in Washington DC this September.

A student at the department of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems at University College Cork, Siobhán will showcase a smartphone app called 'Supporting LIFE' that is being developed by a team of researchers at UCC and Imperial College London (ICL).

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. The app 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.

"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," said Siobhán, commenting on her award.

"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."

Last year Siobhan won both the Irish category for Nursing and the overall award for the category at the International Undergraduate Awards, winning the Bram Stoker Gold Medal on foot of research into wound care.

TEDMED, meanwhile, 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.

TEDMED's Patron Fund provides scholarships to support exceptional individuals from all disciplines to attend its annual conference. For more information see