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Australia govt launches a nation-wide Innovation Challenge

The Australian Digital Health Agency has recently launched an Innovation Challenge to support the national COVID-19 effort and future-proof Australia’s healthcare system.

It is seeking submissions from Australian digital health, engineering and biomedical industries to champion digital health innovation and help Australia get the most from its national digital health infrastructure.

Australia has a track record of innovation and scientific achievement in healthcare. A priority in Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy is to support a thriving digital health industry delivering world-class innovation.

There is no better time for the Australian Government to fund our innovators by holding a competition to solve the most pressing problems facing the health system and our community.

The Australian Digital Health Agency Chief Digital Officer stated that COVID-19 has put health and wellness at the centre of attention for the community and brought an intense focus on the ability of Australia’s health system to meet the challenge posed by this global pandemic.

It has also highlighted the incredibly important role of digital technologies and the digital health sector to plan and manage health services and protect patients and clinicians by enabling the delivery of care in new ways.

Some of the world’s best innovators are here in Australia. The Australian Government stands ready to support them in what they do best – solve problems in new ways.

By running an Innovation Challenge, the government will uncover the most innovative ideas at a time we need them most.

The aim is for these ideas to consider the extensive digital health infrastructure already in place – including healthcare identifiers, standards for data interchange and the My Health Record – so the ideas can be scaled across the country.

The Innovation Challenge will also support Australia’s digital economy now so that it can continue to excel in the future.

The government knows that collaborating with creative thinkers will not only enhance how Australia, as a nation, respond to this health emergency, it will also prepare the country for future ones, helping to mitigate risk, improve health outcomes and most importantly, save lives.

A range of partners across government, corporate and not-for-profit have already collaborated in the design of this challenge and will help run it with an assessment of applications, participation in demos and practical assistance to successful solutions on their path to scale.

The Innovation Challenge will run for seven days and broadly covers three key themes: digital clinical care, digital social care and digital health population management and future preparedness. Innovators can enter the Challenge at https://innovation.digitalhealth.gov.au/.

Applications for the Innovation Challenge close at 11:59 pm AEST Sunday 10 May 2020.

The National Digital Health Strategy 2018-2022 lays a solid foundation for the provision of healthcare through digital means.

Its progress in delivering the Strategy creates an opportunity for the Agency to respond to the pandemic in a unique way that aims to add significant value to the Australian community.

The Agency established a task force to support the national effort to fight COVID-19 by accelerating digital health adoption in Australia and championing innovation across the health sector.

Throughout April, the Agency has created digital services that provide tailored information to citizens and businesses during this challenging time.

One of the key focus areas of the COVID-19 taskforce is the Innovation Challenge for industry and academia/universities to promote cross-sectoral collaboration and speed to market.

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