Skip to main content
Press Release

GE puts Australia's healthcare challenge under the microscope

October 20, 2011

2011 Data Visualization Marathon winning entry highlights our changing healthcare needs

Sydney -- Australia, 20 October 2011: GE has teamed up with the 2011 Data Visualization Marathon in Sydney to take a closer look at Australia's changing healthcare landscape. The winning entry, 'Guess What Australia', draws on data about the nation's aging population, changing demographics and skills shortage to visually represent the challenges faced by our healthcare system today.

The Visualization Marathon is a global series of 24 hour student data design and visualization competitions, held in Sydney, Sao Paulo, London, New York and Berlin.

By some estimates, we now create more data each year than in the entirety of prior human history. Data visualization helps us approach, interpret, and extract knowledge from this information and is being used more and more by government, NGOs and companies to inform their policies and plans.

16 teams from universities throughout Australia met at the Australian Technology Park in September, and were set the challenge of visualising the relationship between Australia's changing demographics and our healthcare workforce. Students were asked:

  • What are the current trends and specific stress points in healthcare?
  • As the population changes, how will the workforce need to respond?
  • How does an overburdened workforce affect the country's health?

Students participated in workshops by Ben Hosken of Flink Labs and Kathleen Balson of the CSIRO, and powered through 24 hours of work to produce a series of insightful visualizations that offered clarity and focus to help understand this growing issue.

The winning entry, 'Guess What Australia', by students from the University of Technology Sydney demonstrated how our aging population, the increased cost of healthcare and stretched resources in regional areas are creating challenges that will impact the delivery of healthcare in the future.

Highly commended entrants 'Growing Pains' and 'Australia's Changing Demographics and Health Care' further highlighted the need for our healthcare system to adapt to our changing demographics.

"Data visualization is a new frontier in making sense of increasingly complex and overwhelming data that has become a common part of our daily life," said Emma Rugge-Price, VP Communications for GE in Australia and New Zealand.

"At GE, data plays an essential role in our business and technology innovation process. From developing healthcare diagnostics to improving aircraft navigation systems, we have found that data visualization helps us and our customers understand the issues and drive improvements. It's something we're passionate about, and we're pleased to congratulate the winners of this year's Visualization Marathon in Sydney for their outstanding work," she said.

Congratulations to winners Remi Bouskila, Adam Connellan, Julie Flestado and John Le from the University of Technology, Sydney for their winning project Guess What Australia. The judges praised the team for creating an engaging narrative with the data. Their visualization offers clarity and focus and helps the reader understand the impact of this growing issue.

For more information about GE and data visualization, visit

Joanne Woo
Corporate Communications Director, Australia & New Zealand
[email protected]
+61 409 330 731

business unit