USC’s world-class health research on show at national conferences | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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USC’s world-class health research on show at national conferences

USC research on the use of video games, smart phones and wearable technology as tools to assist recovery from stroke and sports injuries has been presented to physiotherapists from across the globe.

Led by Senior Research Fellow Ross Clark, the team of two Research Fellows and five PhD students from USC’s School of Health and Sport Sciences delivered 13 lead author presentations at the recent Australian Physiotherapy Association’s national conference in Sydney.

USC Research Fellow Dr Kelly Bower said the digitisation of the health sector was a key theme of the scientific presentations.

“We are focused on world-class research in the fields of health and sport sciences that can make a real difference to community health outcomes,” she said.

“The conference was an opportunity to present some of this knowledge to more than 2,000 physiotherapists, researchers, exhibitors and students from more than 20 countries.”

Dr Bower examined the use of low-cost gaming sensor technologies such as Wii Balance Boards and Microsoft Kinect to assess a patient’s stability and movement following stroke.

Other USC speakers included Research Fellow Dr Benjamin Mentiplay, and PhD students Sophie Heywood, Paula Charlton, Shamala Thilarajah, Megan Banky and Michelle Kahn.

USC was also represented at the Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association’s national congress in Melbourne last month.

Senior Lecturer in Prosthetics and Orthotics Ben Lucas led a discussion on refining procedural skill development in prosthetic and orthotic education.

USC is one of the first universities in Australia to provide specialist training in the increasingly high-tech area of Prosthetics and Orthotics.

The conference was an exciting opportunity for Bachelor of Health Science student Maggie Elliott, 21, who was the first student from USC’s new Prosthetics and Orthotics specialisation to present at a national conference.

Miss Elliott’s project, under the supervision of Mr Lucas and Senior Lecturer in Sports Biomechanics Dr Mark Sayers, explored differences in hip and knee kinematics between two prosthetic foot designs for a bilateral amputee.

“My assignment presentation provided the prosthetics and orthotics industry with an insight into the skills and knowledge USC students are obtaining through the program,” Miss Elliott said.

“It was an excellent opportunity to attend educational presentations and participate in discussions on current developments in the field with fellow delegates and researchers from Australia and abroad.”

— Clare McKay

USC PhD students Megan Banky and Sophie Heywood, Senior Research Fellow Ross Clarke and Research Fellows Dr Kelly Bower and Dr Benjamin Mentiplay at the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s national conference in Sydney.
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