Soft tissue injury is a common occurrence in elite sports. It can cost individuals or teams to lose valuable championship points and adds extra cost of rehabilitation. Pinnacle aims to prevent these injuries by real time tracking of players fatigue levels.

What drew you to the problem you are working to solve in Biodesign?

As part of Biodesign, the team visited several OPDs and wards to find a need. Most staff and patient concerns were regarding logistics of the healthcare system: however, there was one patient who visited the hospital for her regular check-up after ACL surgery. She mentioned regularly during her interview how different life would be if she hadn’t torn her ACL. Being actively involved in sports ourselves (and some of us rather injury prone as well), we realised the importance of injury prevention. We looked up current sports and the injury challenges they face along with what current technology is deployed to tackle these problems. Based on our findings, we came up with a solution of an accurate fatigue tracking device that works in real time. 

What have you learned/gained from the Biodesign process?

The Biodesign course was very informative in regards to developing medical devices specifically. For example, being an engineer, I had no idea about the additional regulations that we had to meet just to come up with a marketable medical device. It also helped us get a better idea of the MedTech scene in Australia and overseas. Additionally, the Adelaide Biodesign team is very supportive even months after completing the course so it’s really good to know that you can always turn to them if you need advice or support.

What are the next steps for the team/team members after the course?

After completing the Biodesign course, the team participated in the entrepreneurs’ challenge program offered by the University of Adelaide. The eChallenge has been crucial in gathering the basic level of understanding in developing IP and then using that IP to initiate a startup. Currently, the team has made it to the finals (top 4 teams out of 72) of the eChallenge in the medical innovations stream and is contending for the top prize.      

What do you want to be doing in 10 years’ time from now?

Having received feedback from top industry professionals, we realised the merit of our idea. Hopefully, in 10 years time, we live up to our merits and have a successful startup under the Pinnacle flagship. We would not only like to see our products used in Australian sports but worldwide.

What would be your advice to someone considering taking the course in 2019?

Firstly and most importantly, no idea is a bad idea. It might be a bit of a cliche but it is very true if you’re trying to find a need. Even us, especially in the orthopedic stream, we were very frustrated with the lack of needs and corresponding solutions but we eventually got there…Make sure you come up with as many needs and solutions as possible. Secondly, ensure that you identify a valid need and marketable solution. Regardless of the competitors, ensure that you have something unique about your solution so you can have a competitive advantage.

Team Members

Benjamin Tuckley

Part time MBA student. Works in the sales and marketing department of a pharmaceutical company.

Hassan Khan

Final year mechanical engineering student. Assistant project manager at Adelaide University Motorsports team.

Sam Darvaish

PhD in biomedical engineering. Part of a second startup known as RehabSwift which is already a part of the 2nd cohort of The Actuator based in Melbourne.