IBM and Menzies HealthLAB launch Time Machine app for remote communities

Hosted on IBM Cloud, app leverages artificial intelligence to demonstrate the risks associated with a poor diet, excessive alcohol use and smoking.
Oct 23, 2020

Sydney, Australia - 23 October 2020: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) today launched a ‘HealthLAB Time Machine’ app hosted on IBM Cloud. Using artificial intelligence (AI), the app lets users look into the future to see how unhealthy lifestyle choices such as poor diet, alcohol misuse and smoking can impact their health which is reflected in their appearance as they grow older.

IBM Services and, KWPTech!, co-developed a front-end app that is accessible on a web browser on an iPad. Leveraging the IBM Design Thinking methodology, the app incorporates machine vision based medical research relating to the ageing effects of lifestyle choices. The app is hosted on IBM’s secure, open and enterprise-grade public cloud.

Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan from Menzies HealthLAB said “We are really excited to share the HealthLAB Time Machine app with youth across urban, regional and remote Australia. Its 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”.

“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.”

IBM Client Executive SA/NT, James Jackson said, “We are very proud to continue our longstanding relationship with the Northern Territory Government and to deliver this wonderful project that uses AI and IBM cloud technology to help improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians across the NT for years to come.”

Together with Menzies through The Bridging the Gap Foundation and KWPTech! we blended strategy, design and technology to bring this app to life.”

The Time Machine app project is a result of IBM’s continued work with the Northern Territory Government and aims to improve health outcomes in regional areas across the territory.

Natalie Morley Managing Director of KWPTech! said, “Our customer experience process uncovered insights clearly showing that ‘selfies’ were the obvious way to reach and engage young Australians. They are never far from their phones and Artificial Intelligence is second nature to them. We’re proud to have been able to bring creativity that works to deliver such important health outcomes.”

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