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PhD Interns Help VitalTrace Surge Ahead

VitalTrace is a local medical device company aiming to improve outcomes for mothers and children during labour and delivery through an innovative new fetal monitoring device. Currently funded by Artesian (Venture Capitalist) and supported by the Medtech Actuator Program, VitalTrace is aiming to deliver the new gold standard in childbirth monitoring.

In partnership with iPREP Biodesign, VitalTrace placed three PhD students from Curtin University, Lanie Ruiz Perez, Rahil Malekipoor and Dilpreet Kaur into a tailored internship within its research team. Tasked with data prediction and analysis activities, the team’s efforts led to significant outputs.

Today, Lanie shares her industry experience, alongside her incredible teammates, Dilpreet and Rahil.

What attracted you to the iPREP Biodesign program?

“Before learning about iPREP Biodesign, I didn’t know that the intersection between 'industry + biomedical & WA' existed, hence I didn't consider it as a career option. The iPREP Biodesign program put students in my situation (end of PhD) at that intersection where amazing innovative start-ups are growing.” 

What have you learnt from the industry experience? 

“Whether it is time that you're saving or investing into a particular task, or whether it is knowledge that you're producing or you're retrieving from other sources... all that you do in industry is immediately relevant and highly rewarding.”


Lanie Ruiz Perez (PhD Student)

What has been your favourite thing about the experience? 

“Experience in a multidisciplinary highly-talented team, in a multicultural environment, with a vibrant company culture that embraces and promotes growth in all aspects of life. ... What is not to love about that!”    

What would be your advice to a PhD student considering the iPREP Biodesign program in 2022? 

“My advice is to absolutely try to get on board as there are many advantages for those selected. The system that iPREP Biodesign uses to select companies grants a safe and rewarding experience for the students. Additional perks are the structured seminars on personal and professional development that we rarely get in academia, and the seminars on the Biodesign methodology which serve as a great introduction to the topic of innovation in the biomedical space. In summary, it is a rewarding experience and the weekly seminars and training are highly relevant.” 

The hands-on internship was a powerful opportunity to turn theory into practice, by applying technical and research skills under the guidance of industry mentors, Arjun Kaushik, and Michael Challenor.


The success of this internship led to Lanie’s employment within the VitalTrace team.


Student applications are open for 2022 industry placements, which extend to both late-stage and early-stage PhD candidates. The iPREP Biodesign program now offers both seven-week and three month paid industry placements, with flexible participation modes. Visit or contact the program manager for more details and to apply!

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