Students’ app idea to help kids with diabetes

Hale School Year 9 students George Kneebone (Woodlands) Jackson Plange-Korndoerfer (North Perth) and Tom Winton (Trigg) won the AI for Good Challenge for their app idea.
Photographer: Andrew Ritchie d495270
Hale School Year 9 students George Kneebone (Woodlands) Jackson Plange-Korndoerfer (North Perth) and Tom Winton (Trigg) won the AI for Good Challenge for their app idea. Photographer: Andrew Ritchie d495270

AN app idea has won three Hale School boys a national award – and has the potential to help scores of children with type 1 diabetes.

Year 9 students Jackson Plange-Korndoerfer (North Perth), George Kneebone (Woodlands) and Tom Winton (Trigg) beat 600 other teams across the country to win the AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Good Challenge.

The trio were tasked with creating a concept using AI and drew on Tom’s personal experience of living with type 1 diabetes.

Their Sugar AI app would use built-in AI to motivate and monitor young children with type 1 diabetes to manage their own blood sugar levels by awarding points for correct management of sugar levels, which are redeemed for games within the app, and provide updates and alerts to parents.

“I think it could be made and it could help kids with diabetes,” Tom said.

“I think AI in diabetes is a good idea – there’s not really a downside.”

The students are keen to see the app developed and have received positive feedback from the Type 1 Diabetes Family Centre in Stirling.

“Building artificial intelligence into diabetes devices will rapidly accelerate the impact of diabetes technology,” chief executive Bec Johnson said.

“Imagine a world where health apps and devices get to know their users’ behaviour, and offer advice and services that support them to stay healthy in a truly targeted way.

“This team of Hale students has imagined just that – an app that ‘gamefies’ type 1 diabetes management for children, incentivising the tasks they have to do each day to manage their condition, identifies their specific health challenges and offers information that is designed to help them solve their diabetes dilemmas.”

Jackson said AI was already part of our lives and was only going to increase but believed it did pose some risks.

“We’ve just got to be careful where we take this concept of AI,” he said.

Anyone interested in helping develop the app can contact the school on 9347 9777.

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