A team of MBA students from QUT in Queensland will take home $100,000 after winning the 2016 Global Business Challenge, in which seven of the world’s top graduate schools and universities competed to improve healthcare in remote communities.
The Smart Toilet Company developed smart apps able to monitor patients by conducting urine analysis. The apps enable a sample to be analysed remotely by clinicians and results are compared with other patient data to give greater insights into a person’s health.
The Challenge is run by Brisbane’s three universities, QUT, The University of Queensland and Griffith University, with support from the State Government and industry. Teams compete to design sustainable solutions to global problems.
This year’s competition tasked teams with developing innovative solutions to improve the effectiveness and cost of health care for isolated communities.
The QUT Business School’s Dr Peter Beven, Director of the Global Business Challenge, said all the finalists devised inspiring solutions.
“Identifying new clinical services and technologies to deliver better and more affordable healthcare to communities facing social, cultural and physical isolation is a core challenge for healthcare providers globally,” Dr Beven said.
“All seven teams have emphatically demonstrated how new technologies and novel business models can directly address this challenge.
“It was a very close race with only two points between the Smart Toilet Company in first and the team that placed seventh.”
The Smart Toilet Company was the brainchild of QUT MBA business students Fraser Miller, Dayna Williamson and Chris Veraa; coached by Professor Marek Kowalkiewicz, QUT’s PwC Chair in Digital Economy.
“This is a wonderful example of students applying digital economy thinking in more traditional industries,” Professor Marek Kowalkiewicz said.
“At QUT we focus on helping organisations seize opportunities new trends in business, technology and society bring. We strongly believe every industry can benefit from the digital revolution.
“Through structured ideation, an approach developed at the QUT’s PwC Chair in Digital Economy, we are able to quickly generate and test new business ideas. It was an absolute pleasure to see this process in action in a team embodying QUT’s mantra: University for The Real World.
“The Smart Toilet Company will – without a doubt – positively impact the wellbeing of many Queenslanders, and – hopefully soon – people outside of Queensland.”
Competing teams represented QUT, The University of Melbourne, Memorial University (Canada), Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf (Germany), Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, University of Calgary (Canada), and Team Durian Exchange from University of Exeter, University of Southampton, SOAS University of London (UK); and Chulalongkorn University (Thailand).
The winners received $100,000, with $15,000 to the second-placed team and $10,000 to the third. A Queensland Health prize of $100,000 cash and $100,000 in-kind to support a pilot was also awarded.
- First prize – The Smart Toilet Company (QUT) Australia
- Second prize – The Eradicators (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore) India
- Third prize – MedFix (Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf) Germany
- Queensland Health prize – The Eradicators (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore) India