Media release - Digital test beds to drive change in healthcare

Health technology organisations, clinicians, patients and health service managers are driving innovation and developing creative solutions to improve how health services are delivered. These ideas often give life to the next solution, which can improve safety, drive health efficiency, and enable choice and control for patients.

The Australian Digital Health Agency is calling for proposals for innovative test beds that can be rigorously reviewed and then scaled nationally.

These pioneering initiatives will be co-produced by consumers, governments, healthcare providers, and entrepreneurs and will test evidence-based digital empowerment of key health priorities.

Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said digitally enabled models of care are an important priority in Australia's National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure and the test beds demonstrate the Agency’s commitment to work collaboratively with stakeholders.

“Our global peers are increasingly recognising that Australia is in a unique position to test and trial digital health solutions that can be implemented in a diverse and sometimes fragmented system, and have the ability to scale nationally.

“During my time as CEO, I have witnessed some incredible innovations that involve consumers, providers, and healthcare organisations tackling critical priorities such as managing chronic disease in completely new ways. The Agency wants to support these types of initiatives, to assist in their evaluation, and to develop an evidence base of sustainable, scalable initiatives to support further investment,” said Mr Kelsey.

The Agency is seeking expressions of interest that build on areas of high level of digital maturity, with evidence of integrated governance arrangements between the participants. Test beds should involve new approaches to addressing a health challenge rather than pilots that have no plan or capacity to scale across a population.

“These projects will require exemplar regions and sectors with a strong existing capability to deliver outcomes. It is essential to demonstrate feasibility and efficacy for a potential test bed to proceed,” said Mr Kelsey.

MSIA President Emma Hossack has welcomed the Agency’s approach to market.

“Australia’s health software industry has remarkable capability. These test beds will give our members the ability to showcase this capacity in worthwhile settings. Prerequisites of maturity and scalability together with transparent evaluation mean these exemplars will have real value for Australian healthcare,” Ms Hossack said.

Patient and consumer advocate Harry Iles-Mann has had frequent contact with the health system over the past 20 years and welcomes improved digital services to better support patients.

“As more people like me suffer from serious complex chronic health issues, we are reliant on multiple care providers to support our own care management. It’s crucial that we find better ways to provide digitised, highly coordinated health and wellbeing services so that patients can be supported, empowered, and enabled in care and in life,” said Mr Iles-Mann.

Further information

Projects can run for up to four years depending on the test bed however, baseline measures will be required by October 2018, and interim results at 12-18 months. Up to $600,000 is available per test bed.

The Agency has also responded to industry calls to minimise the regulatory burden for respondents, and is requesting submissions of no more than 3-5 pages. The tender closes at 2pm on Wednesday 6 June 2018. Further information available on AusTender.

ENDS

Media contact

David Cooper, Senior Media Manager Mobile: 0428 772 421 Email: [email protected]

About the Australian Digital Health Agency

The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia's National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia in collaboration with partners across the community.

The Agency is the System Operator of My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare providers to deliver informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au.

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