Sample Assist™ is an innovative Australian medical technology start-up with a rich history rooted in 35 years of experience in the medical and technology fields. The founders’ unique blend of expertise led to the creation of Sample Assist, aimed at addressing a crucial challenge: protecting patient privacy while making the collection of biological samples more secure, efficient, faster, and safer.

Today, Sample Assist offers an integrated digital sample collection solution. This cutting-edge platform connects patients, collectors, collection centers, and laboratories in a single secure online environment, revolutionising the way medical samples are collected and processed.

Sample Assist was interested in hosting an APR.Intern due to the program’s strong reputation for effectively bridging the gap between academic research and industry application. The opportunity to participate in real-world projects with tangible impact aligns perfectly with our commitment to innovation and practical solutions in the medical technology field. APR.Intern’s focus on facilitating collaboration between students and industry partners provides a unique platform for professional growth and skill development, which is essential for nurturing the next generation of professionals who can contribute to our mission of revolutionising sample collection processes.

L-R: Heath Cooper, Asmaa Seyam and Evan Shapiro (Sample Assist CMO).

Asmaa Seyam is a third year PhD candidate, from the University of Wollongong School of Computing and Information Technology, researching ways to enhance the resilience of and minimise waste within food supply chains. During her APR PhD internship at Sample Assist, Asmaa applied her research skills to create real world impact in the med-tech sector.

Pre-employment medical tests process is a common and necessary step in the hiring process in Australia and New Zealand. The process is complicated, expensive, paper-based and time-consuming, requiring the involvement of multiple parties, including employees, employers, clinics, laboratories and healthcare professionals. At Sample Assist, Asmaa worked on developing a digital technological platform that integrates all parties, streamlines the process, and ensures privacy for employees and patients, accomplishing the process while reducing cost and time for all involved parties.

“My research directly contributed to the advancement of the Sample Assist Research Program. I was intimately involved in product development which ultimately contributed to the overall strategic development of the company,” Asmaa stated.

“My comprehensive research not only shaped the future direction of the product, but also allowed the senior management team to make informed decisions on the commercialisation of the product. The work I completed was used by the commercial development team to design new features aimed at directly addressing specific customer requirements.”

This program provides an exceptional opportunity to apply research skills in real-world industrial settings, allowing us to gain practical experience relevant to our field of study.

“It’s so important that early career researchers receive effective mentoring and sponsorship to succeed in their careers. By taking up these opportunities to grow and giving back as mentors to young girls, we hope to see our interns gain new skills, build their professional network in the Illawarra and continue their innovative research.”

– Professor Danielle Skropeta, Co-Lead of the LIFT Project and Chief Investigator of the Flourish pillar

Image: Asmaa Seyam speaking to Heath Cooper, Minister Husic and local member MP Alison Byrnes.

In her future, Asmaa envisions herself launching a professional career with a solid foundation gained through her participation in this program.

“The internship experience had a profound impact on my overall preparedness for the workplace and my ability to stand out in future job searches. It not only helped me develop practical, educational, and professional skills, but also allowed me to form meaningful connections with expert professionals in my field, thereby expanding my professional network. Establishing connections with experienced individuals can be incredibly advantageous, as it opens the door to potential mentorship, valuable guidance, and promising job prospects down the line,” Asmaa stated.

“I had the privilege of being an integral part of a collaborative team at Sample Assist, dedicated to revolutionising the pre-employment medical test process through digital secure automation. Upon successful implementation of this project, I believe the broader Australian community will be significantly impacted, leading to a more convenient, efficient and more cost-effective pre-employment medical assessments for employees and employers.”

Asmaa Seyam is completing a Doctor of Philosophy – PhD, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, University of Wollongong

Asmaa was a recipient of the University of Wollongong (UoW) LIFT grant.