UMSI students win SPH competition with HIV management app

The winning LivPoz team from the Innovation in Action: Solutions to Public Health Challenges competition. From left: Jin Zhang, Ryan Sanii, Ryan Gourley, Ramit Saraswat, and Maria Gosur.

LivPoz, a mobile app developed by a team of U-M students and designed to help those living with HIV to manage their healthcare and maintain a healthy, positive mindset, won first place at the School of Public Health’s Innovation in Action: Solutions to Public Health Challenges competition on March 12.

The winning team was led by Maria Gosur from the School of Information and included Ryan Sanii from the Schools of Information and Public Health; Jin Zhang and Ramit Saraswat from the College of Engineering; and Ryan Gourley from the School of Natural Resources and Environment, Ross School of Business, and College of Engineering. The LivPoz team was awarded the $10,000 grand prize sponsored by Northrup Grumman.

Twelve other teams made up of students from various schools at U-M were named finalists in the competition. The competition awarded a second place prize of $7,500 (sponsored by Innovate Blue), a third place prize of $5,000 (sponsored by Arboretum Ventures), and a $1,000 audience choice award.

Student teams participating in the Innovation in Action competition spent six months developing solutions to public health challenges that they are passionate about. Participants moved their ideas from concept to reality while acquiring skills in customer discovery, idea pitching, and attracting non-academic funders.

The LivPoz team recognized that HIV management requires a constant need for vigilance in handling a strict medication and lifestyle regimen, which can lead to people becoming overwhelmed and making serious errors when administering treatments. The application the team developed seeks to eliminate the burdens that users encounter when managing healthcare and administering medications so that they can focus on feeling better and living well. 

The team is planning to make the LivPoz app available for download on mobile devices in the summer of 2015. 

For Gosur, the Innovation in Action competition wasn’t her first experience at an innovative event that combined entrepreneurial values with a challenge to develop ideas that could improve healthcare practices. She participated in the inaugural “We Make Health Fest,” a cooperative event sponsored by U-M and a number of outside collaborators that included healthcare providers and researchers, designers and artists, engineers and technologists, public health professionals and community members interested in patient-centered participatory design.

As a full-time web and application developer, part-time college instructor, and independent web and graphic designer, Gosur has pursued her MSI part-time while maintaining an involvement in the UMSI Entrepreneurship Program. She has also been honored with the Weiser iEntrepreneur Award, which recognizes the entrepreneurial pursuits of UMSI students.

Posted March 17, 2015