Women in Innovation: Tina McIntosh

"I think the key ingredients for innovation are curiosity, creativity and empathy and they're all skills that I love to use."

Each Wednesday we interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries everyday!

What are you working on?
I’m working on Brain Changer, which is a pacing tool for people with chronic pain. It targets the multiple drivers of chronic pain. The hospitals, pain clinics, physios, psychologists and occupational therapists we are working with say it’s the missing piece of the puzzle and our users say it’s changing their lives.

Why is innovation important to you?
I think the key ingredients for innovation are curiosity, creativity and empathy and they’re all skills that I love to use. I think innovation is also about being a pioneer, charting new territory, which I find really exciting. You have to be prepared to really stick at it though – Brain Changer has been 3 years in the making.

What drives you to make a difference?
I’ve also wanted to do work that changes the world, even just a little bit. I’ve been able to do that in varying degrees in some of my jobs in the past, but with my Brain Changer work I reckon I’ve now got the best job in the world! The clinicians I’m working with are super excited because Brain Changer helps them help their clients. I also get feedback from the people using Brain Changer, many of them telling me that it’s changed their lives. They’re reporting less pain, less medication and some have time pain-free. My very first user is now free of chronic pain altogether.

Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?
One of the best things I’ve done is to connect with the Canberra Innovation Network. They regularly hold workshops for start-ups that are priced for bootstrapping it as well as free networking events. I’d also recommend that whatever you decide to pursue, you make sure you’re really passionate about it, because you’ve got to immerse yourself completely to make it a success.

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