Jacaranda Flame Partnership
Author: Arman Abdollahi
Jacaranda Flame Consulting is a professional engagement program set up through the University of Sydney designed to give engineering students an opportunity to hone their skills by developing practical solutions to real-world engineering problems. As part of an ongoing commitment to providing industry experience and mentorship to aspiring engineers and researchers, EBM Analytics has established a partnership with Jacaranda Flame Consulting and is proud to announce the successful completion of the first project.
The partnership commenced in late November 2018, and the project continued over three months. The brief provided by EBM Analytics was to develop a prototype of an automated height and weight measurement system for use in the clinic environment. Accurate measurement of height and weight is an important factor in monitoring a patient's health and exploring the relationship between their body mass index and their short- and long-term outcomes after treatment or surgery. However, the current systems in place to record height and weight at the time of consultation are primitive and poorly utilised, resulting in inaccurate measurements  and poor capture rates .
EBM Analytics engaged Jacaranda Flame Consulting to develop a system that facilitated the ease and efficiency of patient height and weight data capture in a non-identifiable way at the reception point in a clinic. The key system requirements were low cost hardware, and the ability to automatically extract and transfer patient data to a local database.
A team of engineering students from biodmedical, mechatronic, software and electrical backgrounds were assigned to the project. The prototype, developed to demonstrate a proof-of-concept, has the potential to be utilised in the clinics of EBM Analytics clients in the future. The team were tasked with delivering the system within a 12 week schedule and budget of $100. The keen engineers spent a considerable time in the research and planning phases before embarking on the building and testing stages, determined to stay abreast of the finer details and mitigate the risks of the project.
The students got to experience first hand how to manage project scope change and deal with resource challenges that are all too common in the professional setting. In March 2019, the Jacaranda Flame Consulting team successfully delivered and presented the prototype to EBM Analytics. The prototype consists of a height module with an ultrasonic sensor that measures height within a range of ±3 cm, and a weight module with a load cell that measures weight within ±0.2 kg for a weight less than 10 kg. Each system has its own user interface that captures the data. The next key design stages would involve combining the two interfaces into one system, and developing a method of data transfer to a database.
The prototype demonstrated the technical feasibility of the system, and established the foundation for future work. Although a few stages away from commercial use, this proof of concept offers a promising solution for EBM Analytics to automate the reliable and accurate capture of height and weight in the clinic environment.
The Jacaranda Flame Consulting team is excited for the next stage of developing the system and is looking forward to continuing the partnership with EBM Analytics.
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