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Ravini - Sri Lanka - University of Melbourne

Ravini (Rav) has taken every setback she has experienced in stride and channeled them into creating new hope for people seeking medical care during COVID-19. She used her experience as an international student and applied it to help others. This is her #InThisTogether story.

#InThisTogether with Ravini Abey

Citizen of the world

After living as a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, moving schools four times and living in cities including Colombo, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, I am not new to major life changes.

My parents first migrated to Australia back in 1996. Since then I've moved back and forth before settling in Melbourne in 2012 for my undergraduate studies.

Studying through a pandemic

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Honours), I am now completing a PhD in Psychology at the University of Melbourne. I am also a 2020 Study Melbourne Ambassador.

As someone who thrives on staying on-the-go, having to adjust to a 'working from home' environment was an entirely new challenge. I believe that the changes from COVID-19, in healthcare and education, will have lasting positive impacts in the future.

Overcoming barriers

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with chronic pain. It was such a difficult time in my life. I couldn't walk, I had to take leave from my PhD degree and I became depressed. Living away from home definitely did not help.

But after surgery, many physiotherapy sessions, tears, pilates classes, pain medications and counselling sessions I am now 90% better. This experience has been life-changing for me and for the last year I have been debating whether to create something to help more patients like myself.

Creating PhysiVoice

Right in front of my eyes, I was able to see the changes COVID-19 was making to the healthcare industry and how I might fit into this 'new normal'. This was the catalyst for launching my startup venture PhysiVoice which is expected to go live in August.

COVID-19 was the turning point in deciding to launch my startup as it showed me the true potential of technology to provide remote access to healthcare services. I went full-speed early this year and was part of multiple competitive startup programs including the SBE E3 program for female founders, the Catalysr pre-accelerator for first generation migrants , and the RMIT LaunchHub accelerator program.

PhysiVoice is an online support tool for allied health clinicians to diagnose chronic pain patients faster. What our tool does is support clinicians meaning they can spend up to 50% less time on finding out the history of their patients and spend more time doing what they love - treating and educating patients.

Our mission is to create change and to heal by bridging the patient practitioner gap.

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