Swinburne students empower people on dialysis to travel

Friday 20 July 2018

Greg Collette with Swinburne students and staff.

Greg Collette (right) worked with Swinburne students and staff to create a dialysis-friendly travel website.

In summary

  • Swinburne students worked with dialysis expert to create a website for those living with dialysis and wanting to travel
  • Reaction has been positive from patients and health organisations around the world 

Swinburne students have worked with a dialysis expert to create a website that helps those living with dialysis travel the world.

The website, Travel Dialysis Review, empowers people on dialysis to help each other make informed travel decisions through user-generated reviews and content.

Graham Bridge, an ICT Digital Media Teacher at Swinburne, oversaw the creation of the site involving a team of three Diploma in Digital Media Technologies students working closely with Greg Collette, a long-term dialysis patient and blogger.

“We enabled Greg to create an extremely useful site for the community of people on dialysis who are about to or have already embarked on travel, and wish to help other members of the community feel safe about where to travel to and get high-quality dialysis,” says Mr Bridge.

“It was a very positive experience for both students and staff who jointly created a high quality, real-world project.”

Getting Swinburne involved

Knowing the kind of website he wanted to create, Mr Collette reached out to Swinburne for help at the suggestion of a friend.

After figuring out the finer details, the project was made part of an IT Semester 2 course for the students.

“Over the next five months, I met the students Matt, Angelo and Mitch, and their Supervisor, Janet,” says Mr Collette.

“We had regular meetings, first to confirm the design and later to agree on how the system would look. They produced design documents, development and implementation plans and more. But most importantly, they developed the website.”

Following the launch, Mr Collette says the reaction has been positive, both from patients and kidney and renal organisations around the world.

He hopes that as more patients take holidays, there will be more contributions to the website advising travellers on dialysis situations.

“Since the website is a perfect fit for dialysis patients worldwide, I would eventually like to establish partnerships with patient renal societies around the world, such as Kidney Health Australia.”

His ultimate goal is to work with health organisations and have them involved in the management of the website, eventually taking full-time ownership. 

Students were mentored by Swinburne staff Janet Bott and Olga Lavouasier alongside Mr Bridge.