[Health] UVic - UBC Engineering 4 Health Challenge

Morgan Price morgan at virtuallypriceless.org
Tue Oct 7 00:13:49 EDT 2008

Hello list

This is my first post and I wanted to update you on a little project  
that we have begun here at the University of Victoria in conjunction  
with the University of British Columbia, Canada.

We are planning an "Engineering 4 Health" challenge where we are  
asking BC high school students to come to the university for a 1/2 day  
design session to work on designing health applications for children  
who would have access to the OLPC XO laptop.

It's a paper process - in the afternoon the BC students will work in  
facilitated small groups to build out a "Storyboard" of their ideas on  
a large ~4 foot x 8 foot sheet of paper.  We walk them through a  
brainstorming and design process to get them excited about software  
engineering and health.  We've created vector image outlines of the  
OLPC screen for students to draw on during the mock up phase.

We did a dry run this week with 10 students and it was quite  
successful and thought I would share our experience from that as we  
are all quite happy with how it turned out.  The full run is in  

The students came up with interesting ideas with a clear focus on  
community and communication with each other and providers.  One group  
developed an idea for a game that taught skills like first aid and how  
to maintain clean water supplies.  The other group took on Face Book,  
with an idea for "Health Book" that would allow people to communicate  
about health but also to view regional maps of various health services  
so that children and families would be able to find out where and when  
various health clinics were running.

We are going to run the full high school challenge on November 10th  
and are planning on following that up with a 1 week long University  
challenge where university students will be able to prototype designs  
for the laptop electronically.  The best University prototypes would  
go on to have support for a summer term of development of their idea.

The dry run was very exciting for the students, who enjoyed thinking  
about how they could help other children through the XO laptop.


Morgan Price, MD, CCFP
morgan at virtuallypriceless.org
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of British Columbia
Department of Family Practice
Lead Faculty for Informatics

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