Issue 9
Monday, 02 November 2020
Charles Darwin University
E-news
From left: Bradlee Ward, Joshaviah Johnson, Stanley Waistcoat, Lesley Versteegh and Tony Bradshaw try out the Time Machine app. Image: Tennant and District Times
From left: Bradlee Ward, Joshaviah Johnson, Stanley Waistcoat, Lesley Versteegh and Tony Bradshaw try out the Time Machine app. Image: Tennant and District Times

Time Machine app wins innovation award

An app developed by Menzies HealthLAB, KWPTech! and IBM has been recognised for its innovative approach to promoting healthy lifestyles. 

The HealthLAB Time Machine uses artificial intelligence to visually demonstrate the risks associated with a poor diet, excessive alcohol use and smoking.

The Time Machine has won the iAward for the not-for-profit and community solution of the year category at the SA/NT Australian Information Industry Association iAwards, which recognises and rewards excellence in Australian innovation. 

Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan from Menzies HealthLAB is excited by the opportunities provided by the app, including reaching youth across urban, regional and remote Australia. 

“The app’s primarily visual format captures the attention of youth and overcomes language barriers, and its digital transportability makes it ideal as a health promotion tool for us to use across vast distances in regional and remote Australia,” Dr Smith-Vaughan said.

“Piloting with Northern Territory youth was a great success in getting them engaged in thinking about their health choices. Hopefully we’ll see these youth having second thoughts before drinking alcohol, smoking and eating junk food.”

Menzies HealthLAB manager Nicole Boyd said the interactive app was created to capture young people’s attention and to start meaningful conversations about healthy lifestyles.  

“Travelling forward through time to reach 60 or 80 years of age with the Time Machine gives immediate visual feedback on the effects of healthy and unhealthy lifestyle choices, which are often challenging to imagine,” Ms Boyd said.  

“HealthLAB will take the Time Machine on the road to remote parts of the Territory and work with others to share this great resource.”

Menzies HealthLAB Time Machine is now a finalist in the national iAwards, which will be held virtually on 17 November.