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Swallowcheck is working to improve recognition and diagnosis of dysphagia (swallowing difficulty) in the aged care setting to improve patient outcomes. 

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

Having managed many patients with these difficulties, it was important for me to find a solution to this unmet clinical need – Sandeep P

The scale of the problem and the amount of people affected by swallowing difficulties, whose lives we could impact. – Jacob P

Lack of implementing advanced technologies in current practices where introducing an accurate and cost effective solution was feasible – Daniel A


Team SwallowCheck (L-R) - Dr Daniel Armani, Jacob Petersen, Dr Sandeep Poorun, Olivia Bettane, Course Co-Director Dr Matt Oldakowski.

Not pictured: Andrea Jansen, Alumni Fellow Richard Macliver, Business Mentor Liz Dallimore

What have you learned from the Biodesign process?

The need to consider the “problem first” allowed me to ensure I was capturing a clinical need that is real and requires immediate attention, rather than deep diving into a solution that won’t fix anything. - Olivia B

In-depth understanding of the process starting from the initial problem right through to commercialising the product - Sandeep P

The importance of need driven product development and having a thorough, validated understanding of that need. - Jacob P

What has been your favourite thing about the Biodesign experience?

The opportunity to meet and work alongside a fantastic group of intelligent people who are passionate about improving health outcomes by building new technologies. Olivia B

Exposure to the medical startup world and collaborating with people of diverse backgrounds - Sandeep P

Working and innovating on problems that have the potential to have a large, direct positive impact. - Jacob P

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

Medtech entrepreneur in parallel with working in clinical practice - Sandeep P

Working in a thriving team, entrepreneuring and designing innovative products and seeing first hand the massive impact our products have. - Jacob P

Focusing on R&D, getting engaged with investors, developing final products from pure concepts - Daniel A

What would be your advice to someone considering taking the course in 2020?

Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way, and don’t shy away from crazy ideas to solve clinical problems. The crazier the idea, the better the solution! Olivia B

Hit the ground running, don’t let the uncertainty of the first part hold you back and enjoy it! - Jacob P

Put your name down for one of the best Biodesign courses in Australia. Daniel A

Express interest in the 2020 Perth Biodesign course here.

Applications are now open for our new Perth Biodesign for Digital Health course here.

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Andrea Jansen

Andrea has completed a Bachelor of Health Science (majoring in Public Health/Psychological Studies) and a Master of Nursing Science from the UWA. Andrea is currently employed at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital as a Registered Nurse on a ward specialising in renal and hepatology, including patients who receive kidney/liver transplants.

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Daniel Armani

Daniel has a PhD in Biomedical science. He is an engineering researcher with academic, industry and start-up experience in Biosensors, 3D printing, Lab-on-a-Chip and Microfluidic devices. He is actively involved in medical research and passionate about driving innovation in healthcare. Daniel is also a member of Australian Physiotherapy Association.

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Jacob Petersen

Jacob is a Mechanical Engineer working in a product development role in the mining industry. After two years Jacob has successfully advanced multiple products to commercial prototype and production stages. Jacob wants to use these skills and transition into the medical space where he feels he can have a greater positive impact on the community.

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Olivia Bettane

Olivia Bettane has university training in life sciences and business, and a keen interest to develop and improve health outcomes through innovating and designing new medical technologies . Olivia has developed a keen interest to reduce health economic inefficiencies and positively impact the world around her is currently working towards this goal as a consultant at Accenture.

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Sandeep Poorun

Sandeep completed his medical training at the University of Birmingham, undertaking rotations in medical and surgical specialities. He completed General Practice training and subsequently undertook a Fellowship in Acute and Urgent care working in aged care, hospitals and ambulance settings. He moved to Perth in 2018 and holds a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of GP’s.

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