The University of Newcastle, Australia

Students design new healthcare solutions

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

An Honours student from the University of Newcastle (UON) will be one of the first to employ their innovative skillset to tackle some of the nation’s biggest health issues through an inaugural scholarship scheme supported by Australian health insurer, nib.

Scholarship recipient Richard O'Regan

Established last year, the nib Scholarship for User Centred Design Research enables students undertaking an honours design research project to explore the role that design can play in communicating healthy lifestyle behaviours to the general public.

Visual Communication Design Honours student and scholarship recipient, Richard O’Regan, said he was looking forward to better understanding what influences a person’s approach to their own health.

“The human component of design is something I’m interested in and this project will be a great way to further my own learning in that area.

“My main focus will be on understanding why some people are less proactive about their health and looking at interventions that will help them adopt a healthier lifestyle to improve their quality of life and reduce the strain on the health system,” he said.

After undertaking work placement at nib during his degree, Richard said applying for the scholarship seemed like an obvious choice.

“During my placement, I was really impressed with how the nib user experience team worked and their consideration towards the human component of design.

“Through this opportunity, I now get to work with industry experts and provide insights that will hopefully lead to the development of tailored and impactful health solutions,” he said.

The scholarships will facilitate a multi-disciplinary approach to some of the barriers that prevent people seeking timely medical advice, while also providing students with invaluable industry connections and experience.

nib Scholarship opportunities are still available for students with a background in information technology, health/nursing, industrial design and physics.

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