Griffith University’s Professor John Flood and Dr Monique Lewis took part in the annual Brisbane conference HealthHack in September, pitching a technology solution to support medicinal cannabis prescription.

Each year, Health Hack brings together problem owners, developers, and designers for an intensive weekend to create solutions for problems around health.

Part of team ‘CannaCare’, Professor Flood said their pitch argued that both patients and doctors find many obstacles in the prescribing of medicinal cannabis.

‘The process is cumbersome, time-consuming, and bureaucratic. This combination of factors is an effective recipe to deter doctors from becoming cannabis prescribers,’ he said.

‘CannaCare’ was formed of a nine-person team of developers, UX and UI experts, along with medical and pharmacy researchers, communications and legal expertise.

“During the Hackathon, we developed a website/app which enables doctors to upload documents that have been successful in gaining necessary permissions for prescribing,” Professor Flood explained.

Titled “APprove Me: Safe sharing for prescribers”, the app automatically redacts identifiable information from the documents (e.g. sensitive information about patients) and creates a searchable database for those who want to become prescribers.

Its design is such that other professionals, e.g. pharmacists and nurse practitioners, can use it when they receive prescribing authority. It will also scale to other unregistered medicinal products as they enter the Australian health market.

The app does this by using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and artificial intelligence to learn on documents.

Team member Andrew Newton, of Software Company Genie Solutions, received the“Supreme Coder of the Hackathon” award for his work on the project.

Griffith University’s Women in STEMM Co-ordinator, Ashely Vidulich, was also recognised with the same award for her work on her team’s BioMap project, which developed a digital dashboard to display biometric and other data of girls in Africa riding their bikes to and from school.

A system for improving nutrition and food waste in Australian hospitals, claimed first prize at this year’sevent.

Image courtesy of Dr Nick Hamilton from HealthHack