Congratulations - Business and Industry Solutions of the Year

Congratulations to Hopkins Research Fellow Dr Daniel Harvie and team members Nick and Dylan for taking out first place at the QLD iAwards in the "Business & Industry Solution of Year” category for our Imprint Tactile Acuity Device.

View the video pitch:

iAwards website announcement:


Stay tuned about this project, as the teams head to nationals to compete with our team across the Country.


Nomination process brief for the Imprint Tactile Acuity Device

The opportunity:

Persistent pain effects 1 in 5 people and is difficult to treat because its causes are usually invisible, and few reliable tests can diagnose contributing factors. This makes choosing the best treatment difficult and prone to error. The Imprint Tactile Acuity Device (iTAD) assists to identify one of the main causes of persistent pain; impairments in sensory processing in the nervous system. Further, the device is designed to be a sensory training tool in order to restore normal sensory processing. We believe the iTAD will assist to assess and treat persistent pain, and reduce its personal and economic burden.

For who?

3.2 million Australians have persistent pain, with similar prevalence world-wide. The majority of health professionals on the front lines now accept the modern science that adaptations in the nervous system are a principle contributor. However, clinical tools to aid clinical identification and treatment of nervous system adaptations are lacking. Professionals, including many of the 29,000 Australian physiotherapists are therefore eagerly waiting new tools like the iTAD, to enable better patient care.

What is different?

The automated sensory testing and training enabled by the iTAD, can currently only be performed manually. This involves a therapist touching the patient on the skin in various locations over the painful area and asking them (with eyes closed) to accurately identify the location each time. The therapist may then calculate the number correct (to assess the sensory system) or give feedback (to train the sensory system). As a test of sensory function this approach has limited reliability. As a treatment tool it is generally unfeasible because many hours of sensory training are needed. Our device mimics this testing and treatment but makes it: Reliable, by automating and standardising the stimulation protocol; and feasible, by enabling the training to be performed independently. It also uses gamification principles to make training fun and engaging.

What is the technology in your solution?

The iTAD involves original hardware and software solutions. The custom printed circuit board is engineered to precisely control the timing, location, and intensity or the vibrotactile stimulation nodes in our custom wearable device. The custom iTAD tablet software, provides a gamified interface, provides feedback, and calculates scores related to sensory function that can be uploaded to the cloud for access by the treating clinician.

Likelihood of impact?

The iTAD is designed for impact. Not only does it target a highly prevalent problem, but it offers a solution that is highly pragmatic, user friendly, automated, and fun. Moreover, our device is underpinned by strong science, and an ongoing program of clinical research. We are currently in talks with highly interested biomedical device manufacturers, with international reach, that can assist in real-world translation.

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