Coast start-up enters the world stage
  • Friday 17 June 2016
iPug founders

An innovative world-first digital health platform founded on the Sunshine Coast has been launched onto the world stage at the BIO International Convention in San Francisco.

iPug (Prevention Using Gamification) is a mobile-friendly platform that transforms the way research is conducted and how public health campaigns are delivered.

Sunshine Coast-based entrepreneurs Steve Huff and Lyndon Holzheimer conceived iPug while based at Spark Bureau, a start-up incubator for entrepreneurs in Maroochydore.

The iPug platform includes the iPug Research Suite™, which recruits and engages targeted participants for high-quality, real-time research results. The iPug Health Suitedelivers targeted health campaigns to individuals with the right message, at the right time, on the right device with the right reward incentive.

Steve Huff said: “iPug moves governments away from a broadcast model of ineffective public health campaigns to a targeted reward-based communications platform.

“We see tremendous opportunity in the US to reduce the cost of public health campaigns through effective scaleability and delivering measurable results.

“This individualised approach means better retention, engagement, learning and public health outcomes."

iPug's Australian launch was held at Spark Bureau last night.

"It began here just last year and is now making its entry into a global marketplace which shows just how successful you can become as a start-up from the Sunshine Coast," Mayor Mark Jamieson said.

"It was certainly a proud moment as mayor of the Sunshine Coast to be in San Francisco at BIO 2016 and see two of our home-based entrepreneurs making a splash on the world stage."

iPug is teaming up with Dr Andrea Gielen, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Prevention and Policy, to roll out a new public health campaign in 2016 called D.O.S.E. (Digital-Opioid-Safety-Education).  

This campaign will promote safe use, storage, and disposal of opioid pain medications to reduce the risk of addiction, diversion, overdose and death.

Digital health funding is on the increase in the US with more than $900 million in investment in the first quarter of this year, which represents 50% year-on-year growth from the same time last year.

“It is an exciting time to be in digital health. We’ve already successfully launched the injury prevention app Cool Runnings through the Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, University of Queensland in Brisbane,” Mr Huff said.

More information on iPug:

Image: iPug Chief Operating Officer Lyndon Holzheimer and Chief Executive Officer Steve Huff.