Francesca Turnball - the winner of IET's Product Innovation Challenge and her reward

14-year-old designs vaccination-reminding app

Fourteen-year-old Francesca Turnball has won the IET’s Product Innovation Challenge designing a medical mobile phone application.

Francesca, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, entered the competition with her idea of a mobile phone app that educates parents about the need for the MMR vaccination and will also send reminder alerts when a child is due for their injections. Francesca felt her design could help make the society better informed about vaccines and also take the pressure off medical staff to chase parents to have their children vaccinated.

“Parents are always being told and reminded about vaccines and this product will take advantage of current communications to let them know all there is to know about the MMR vaccine,” the 14-year-old programmer said. “In time, the application could expand to other important medical news and information.”

Speaking after her victory, Francesca explained how such competitions inspired and motivated her to pursue subjects like science, engineering and technology.

The competition organisers asked entrants to identify a problem or opportunity relating to communication, and then use their engineering skills to develop a solution.

“We were really impressed with Francesca’s idea, especially the way she explained the application’s wider effect on society and medical staff,” said IET’s Education Manager Holly Margerison. “We had some great entries for this competition, and I hope those that entered have realised what great things can be done through science and engineering.”

Francesca has now earned the title of IET Student Innovator of the 2013 and has been awarded an iPad and further £500 for her school to invest into science, engineering, technology or maths education.

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