UQ gaming app to improve health

18 September 2014

A mobile gaming app developed by University of Queensland Engineering School students to help cystic fibrosis sufferers manage their illness has garnered national attention at the recent iAwards.
The Pepster app delivers breathing therapy for cystic fibrosis in the form of computer games, using a patient’s breath as the controller.

University of Queensland Engineering School
Study at the University of Queensland

The application was recognised with the Hill’s Young Innovator of the Year award and the Best Mobile Application award.
UQ engineering student and entrepreneur Elliot Smith said he and his fellow co-founders of Pepster, Jeremy Herbert and Gavin Kremor, wanted to create a device that could have a positive impact on people’s lives.
“Pepster has been a wonderful experience for us,” Mr Smith said.
“It’s a great privilege to be able to apply our knowledge in engineering and healthcare to a project like this.
“Winning the Hill’s Young Innovator award has helped in providing funding for the next stage of our development.
“We are looking to build the best possible version of the device and this will help us get there.”
The application came about after the students were approached by a cystic fibrosis specialist from the Mater Children’s Hospital who was concerned about how often or how well people were doing their chest physiotherapy exercises outside of hospital.
Based around the Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) exercise, the Pepster system consists of a breath-measurement device that plugs into a tablet computer and a suite of applications which transform measurements into interactive experiences for the user.
Pepster records the breath measurements taken while the patient plays the game, allowing physicians to monitor their patient’s process.
Currently, a medical trial of Pepster involving 30 patients at the Mater Children’s Hospital is underway.

About the UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Located within the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, the School of ITEE is at the forefront of research, teaching and learning across the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) and Engineering disciplines.
The School of ITEE offers a multifaceted suite of teaching programs, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, in Information Technology, Engineering Hardware, Software and Information Management, Human-Computer Interaction and Multimedia Design.
The school boasts a strong, internationally recognised research base and through its association with a number of research centres, is a research leader in a number of fields including

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cognitive Systems Engineering
  • Complex & Intelligent Systems
  • Data & Knowledge Engineering
  • e-Research
  • Microwave & Optical Communications
  • Power & Energy Systems
  • Security & Surveillance
  • Systems & Software Engineering
  • Ubiquitous Computing


Find out more about IT and engineering programs available at the University of Queensland and at other Australian universities. Contact OzTREKK’s Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.