Clinical trial for children’s play-based learning app

Teach Ted is ready to pilot their play-based learning app with a corporate partner as a result of the clinical evidence provided by UNSW researchers and Sydney Children's Hospital.


Teach Ted offers a range of products, including apps and storybooks, that build children’s confidence when faced with new clinical experiences. Reducing anxiety caused by medical procedures not only improves the wellbeing of children and parents, but also increases clinical efficiency as calm children require less time and resources to treat.

Teach Ted had developed a prototype to address blood test distress using play-based learning principles. Anecdotal evidence showed that it helped children relax, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder and needle-phobias, however, to reach the next commercialisation stage and scale the product, Teach Ted needed independent evidence that the product worked.

"I knew that we'd need more than just, "That’s a lovely story or isn't that cute." Early on, we needed scientific evidence that what we were doing improved things - both for families and the service providers - if it was to succeed commercially." 

Sarah Cummings, Co-Founder & CEO, Teach Ted 


The TechVoucher project involved a partnership between UNSW, Sydney Children's Hospital, and Teach Ted. UNSW researchers designed a clinical trial methodology to test the efficacy of Teach Ted’s app and child life therapists from Sydney Children's Hospital provided feedback on the prototype.

Two days after the project kicked off, COVID-19 restrictions came into effect. With some adjustments to the methodology, the project was completed despite the lockdown.

"I was impressed with how much the UNSW team did for us, particularly in terms of navigating complexities around ethics approvals and stakeholder management. They also supported us with promotion of the product, which was completely unexpected. The resilience and persistence they showed through all the COVID-related challenges was critical to the success of the trial." 


The UNSW clinical trial report has given Teach Ted the evidence and credibility they need to secure a corporate partner and pilot their innovation. The relationship with UNSW has also led to a further clinical trial with Canberra Hospital.

"The UNSW research report is a really big thing for us. We now have independent evidence to show Teach Ted works in a clinical setting, and that families and practitioners want to use it. It gets people thinking, "This could be a valuable tool for us. It’s not just two mums who have made a fun video."