Health-tech innovator bags design award

Tuesday, 20 September, 2022

Health-tech innovator bags design award

Leah Heiss, a health-tech innovator and Associate Professor, Monash University, has been awarded the 2022 Australian Women in Design Award at this year’s Good Design Awards for her work across wearable health technologies and healthcare co-design.

Heiss is currently working on redesigning the experience of health care in Australia as a part of the Future Hospital Future Health Initiative. She is working with the World Health Organization to improve the uptake and implementation of WHO guidelines, particularly in developing nations. Her wearable health technologies include a jewel-like hearing aid, jewellery to administer insulin, jewellery to monitor cardiac events, swallowable devices to detect disease and emergency jewellery for times of medical crisis.

The award recognises women at the top of their field and seeks to encourage a more diverse and equal representation in design and creative industries, where women account for less than 17 of executive leadership roles.

Heiss said she was honoured to receive the award that seeks to address the gender imbalance within leadership roles in the design industry.

“I am passionate about bringing my design skills to the biggest challenges we face as citizens, particularly around equity and access to good health care,” she said.

“Design can provide power and agency to people, a voice and a choice in how products and systems are created, what they look and feel like and how they function.”

Over her career Associate Professor Heiss’s design work has received six Australian Good Design Awards, including the 2018 Good Design Award of the Year. Her work is held in the heritage collections of Museums Victoria and the Museum of Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse), Sydney.

Diabetes applicator. Image supplied by Leah Heiss.

In her role as the Monash University Eva and Marc Besen International Research Chair in Design, Associate Professor Heiss strengthens the design capability in interdisciplinary projects across the university, both nationally and internationally.

Professor Shane Murray, Dean of Monash Art, Design and Architecture, said the award is a wonderful recognition of Associate Professor Heiss’s leadership in shaping the world’s design future.

“Leah’s work is a testament to our faculty’s vision to respond to the major challenges facing the world today, leading major projects that unite industry and technology through design research,” he said.

“Her experience and work in developing innovative health design solutions across devices, services and experiences will continue to further our impact through design.”

Top image: Leah Heiss, health-tech innovator and Associate Professor, Monash University. Image supplied by Leah Heiss.

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