University of Canterbury participants win three HealthTech awards for best research



University of Canterbury (UC) innovators and their healthcare technology solutions are the 2021 HealthTech Award winners announced at a ceremony in Christchurch last night.

  • Dr Deborah Munro (center photo) won the HealthTech award for best translational research at the awards dinner last night. Here she is pictured with Grace Elliot (left) and Ella Guy (right) who previously worked with Dr Deborah Munro on engineered solutions to improve global health.

The MedTech Center of Research Excellence, Callaghan Innovation and Medical Technology Association New Zealand (MTANZ) presented the awards to the winners at a gala dinner last night (Tuesday, June 22).

UC Engineering scholar Dr. Debbie Munro won the HealthTech Award for Best Translational Research for her project titled: Diagnostic Implantable Sensor System for Spinal Fusion. Dr Munro is a lecturer in mechanical and biomedical engineering, who has developed “smart” implant sensor technology to help detect changes in patients who have undergone spinal fusion surgery.

This award recognizes translational research capacity in New Zealand, where a new technological solution has been created to solve an unmet clinical need with a potential business opportunity.

The three winners in this category are researchers from the University of Canterbury

  • Winner: UC Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Keynote Speaker, Dr. Debbie Munro: Diagnostic and Implantable Sensor System for Spinal Fusio
  • 1st Finalist: Professor of Psychology, Speech and Hearing at UC and Director of the Rose Center for Stroke Recovery and Research at UC, Professor Maggie-Lee Huckabee: BiSSkApp – Seeing the way to rehabilitation of swallowing
  • 2sd Finalist: Jake Campbell, UC Mechanical Engineering PhD Student: Non-invasive Blood Glucose Monitoring in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

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