OHSU bioinformatics students win national design competition

November 24, 2014

DMICE-design teamSix students in the OHSU biomedical informatics graduate program won the second annual student design challenge at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) annual symposium Nov. 19. The team created a prototype of a mobile app that can capture children's drawings and accompanying narratives to better facilitate communication between a child and their provider and engage children in health care.

Congratulations to the team that developed the app in response to the 2014 challenge theme: "Beyond Patient Portals: Engaging Patients with their Healthcare Providers."

  • Kimberley Gray, biomedical informatics graduate certificate '14
  • Kate Fultz Hollis, M.S., MBI student
  • Michelle Hribar, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow
  • Steven Williamson, Ph.D. student
  • Dana Womack, M.S., Ph.D. student
  • Deborah Woodcock, MBA, M.S. student

"Informatics is an interdisciplinary field, and this project is a great example of that," said Woodcock, who served as project manager for the team. "Each team member brought their unique perspective to the application."

The app they created, Drawn Together, is based on Draw and Tell Conversations, a technique where children draw and explain their problems or symptoms in their own words. For use in clinical settings or at home with parents, the application allows young children to articulate their own problems during health care encounters. Typically parents and providers talk directly to one another, while the child listens; this program provides a unique communication tool for the child, provider and parents. Watch a demo of the app below.

DMICE appDrawn Together (screenshot shown at left) supports touch screen drawing as well as image scanning of paper drawings. Drawings can be annotated with text, tags and diagnoses and can be shared through email, uploaded to an electronic health record, and synced between two devices with Drawn Together. The app is based on research by OHSU School of Nursing Associate Professor Martha Driessnack, Ph.D, PNP-BC, who developed the Draw and Tell Conversation.

The AMIA Student Design Challenge selects eight teams to present posters at the annual symposium.  Of these, four teams are chosen to give an oral presentation at the meeting, and the winners are announced on the last day of the symposium.

So what's next? Woodcock said conversations between the Department of Medical Informatics' Informatics Discovery Lab and OHSU Technology Transfer and Business Development office are underway to explore commercial application for the Drawn Together app. 

Pictured above (l to r): Michelle Hribar, Steven Williamson, Deborah Woodcock, Dana Womack and Kate Fultz Hollis at the AMIA conference.