App for the visually impaired and cardiac biomarker scoop DCU innovation awards

7 Jun 2013

Pictured is the overall winner Kaylee Cherry, a final year student in digital media engineering, who developed Scandroid, a barcode-scanning Android app to help visually-impaired and blind shoppers

A mobile app to help visually impaired shoppers, a diagnostic tool to better assess cardiac disease and an online payroll self-service system have won awards for innovation at Dublin City University (DCU) today.

This is the first year of the awards that have been set up to recognise innovations from DCU students, researchers and staff.

DCU President Prof Brian MacCraith presented the awards to the three winning projects this morning along with Regina Moran, CEO of Fujitsu Ireland.  

Kaylee Cherry, a final-year student in digital media engineering, won the student award for Scandroid, a barcode-scanning Android app. She designed the app to help visually impaired and blind shoppers.  

Cherry’s idea was proposed by the National Council for the Blind of Ireland. The Scandroid app extracts the barcode number from the product, finds the matching product online and the information is read out to the shopper using text-to-speech technology.  

Stephen Hearty, Barry McDonnell and Richard O’Kennedy from DCU’s Biomedical Diagnostics Institute won in the academic and research category. The trio collaborated with industry partner Biosurfit to engineer an antibody C-reactive protein. This is a cardiac biomarker that the researchers believe will enable more rapid and reliable assessment of cardiac disease at point-of-care.  

The cardiac biomarker will shortly undergo evaluation at the Coombe women’s hospital in Dublin and is due for commercial launch later this year.  

Sheila Bridgeman from DCU’s Finance Office won the administration and support staff category for her innovation called My Payroll Self-Service. The aim of the service is to deliver pay and tax information securely to staff desktops, eliminating the need for payslips.

Other shortlisted creations included a chewing gum to enhance cognitive function and concentration, a zero-emission electric vehicle for use on construction sites, and an energy plan to reduce DCU’s energy consumption by 33pc by 2020.

MacCraith said the finalists had gone the extra mile to deliver impact and change both within the DCU community and for the wider public.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic