Awards for a different kind of innovation in healthcare

Elizabeth Barry 20 July 2016 NEWS

health innovation

HelloHealthTech saw five startup pitches to support innovation in health services.

Blockchain to share patient data and a device that enables you to use your smartphone to diagnose skin cancer. These are just some of the innovations from last night's finalists at HelloHeathTech Innovation Challenge.

The event, in its third year and hosted by Westpac and startup incubator Blue Chilli, saw pitches from five finalists. This was narrowed down from more than 250 applications.

The challenge required startups to have an innovation that would solve problems for businesses and ancillary services in the healthcare industry, to increase productivity or enhance patient care.

Surgical Partners, which is a cloud-based financial management platform for doctors, took home the $40,000 prize.

"This win has been a great validation of a lot of restless nights and confirmation that we are doing the right thing," said Marcus Wilson, director of Surgical Partners.

"With this funding from Westpac we will be looking to hire new people as demand is growing. We will also be exploring partnerships with Westpac and opportunities within its network if business customers.”

Healthcare has come a long way in Australia, as was demonstrated in the evening's opening address. IVF was invented in Australia in the 1970s, as were cochlear implants in 1985.

However, Emma Poposka from Cyph MD, who won the $5,000 people's choice award, explained it best. When you were in a hospital waiting room in the mid-90s and a doctor went out to get your file, you would have expected the process to be improved by 2016. But this is not the case.

There have been myriad medical innovations in the healthcare sector, but many other areas are needing attention.

Doctors in hospitals still use pagers and there can be weeks in administrative delay for doctors in practices receiving their pay.

Each of these startups is looking to improve the sector, whether it be patients or doctor's lives, in some way.

  • Surgical Partners (Winner). Accounting platforms in a practice are complicated, so Surgical Partners streamlines these in the cloud. It integrates into any practice's accounting systems, splits doctor's billings into practice share and can do it in real-time.
  • Cyph MD (People's Choice Winner). This will leverage the blockchain to help hospitals share patient data. It's a communications platform for secure and streamlined data sharing across the healthcare network.
  • OnCallogist. Aiming to help doctors in hospitals that still rely on pagers, OnCallogist is a clinical task management mobile app that gives doctors real-time information to see patients faster.
  • Aipoly. This is an app that essentially helps the blind to see. Using the power of artificial intelligence, it's an app that recognises objects and colours in real-time and uses deep learning to teach a phone to "see".
  • SkinView. A device that allows anyone to detect skin cancer themselves using their own smartphone. It also comes with the option to send it to the cloud for a dermatologist's help and confirmation.

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