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Wearable Technologies And Cloud Could Cut Hospital Bed Demand By 50%

By October 31, 2017 May 9th, 2019 No Comments

The former head of SA Health, Ray Blight is firmly focussed on halving demand for Australian hospital beds and is one step closer with an industry-matched research grant awarded today to his and other companies in Adelaide’s MedDev SA medical technology cluster.

The $340,000 matched grant from MTPConnect – the MedTech and Pharma Growth Centre – will be used by members of the cluster to advance technologies designed specifically to minimise the need for hospital admissions.

The Hospital 4.0 initiative will harness wearable and point-of-care devices and the Cloud to monitor real-time patient health and link patients to a range of health service providers and care options via a Cloud-based Artificial Intelligence platform that will, in turn, connect them to the services they need.

Mr Blight said the Artificial Intelligence system would automatically seek additional health information from the patient if required (ie blood pressure, weight and even blood analysis); recommend escalation of care (such as a GP referral, health service home visit or even admittance to hospital); and ensure the treating health professional has access to real-time, best practice guidance about the patient’s condition and medical history.

“The greatest ‘first world’ killer behind heart disease and cancer is avoidable errors in health care delivery,” Mr Blight said. “A key focus of Hospital 4.0 will be monitoring patients’ clinical risk data for signs that something is going wrong so that an early intervention can correct the situation.”

Mr Blight was Chief Executive of the South Australian Health Commission in the 1990s, is a former health adviser to the World Bank and is now Chairman and Chief Executive of Alcidion Group Limited, a publicly-listed health informatics company which provides computer-based systems to healthcare workers and clinicians to support them in making patient management and treatment decisions.

The MedDev SA Alliance was established by the SA Department of State Development in 2015 and is aimed at boosting the presence and profitability of South Australian medical technology companies in both domestic and international markets by collaborating with medical device manufacturers, the State Government, Federal Government and other key industry groups including TechInSA, HealthInSA and the Medical Device Partnering Program at Flinders University.

“Work done by cluster members in cooperation with SA Health and coordinated by MedDev SA has gone a long way towards proving up the technology – and keeping the intellectual property in South Australia,” Mr Blight said.

“Our task now is to develop commercial pathways and implement a pilot program to prove this innovation in South Australia before taking it to the world.”

“Our initial clinical focus will be to support cardiovascular services in regional and remote South Australia but the infrastructure will be commercially scalable to other chronic diseases and across Australia and beyond.”

The Hospital 4.0 consortium is already working with the integrated Cardiovascular Care Network – a division of the Country Health local health network, which has a long and successful track record of arranging cardiology services for patients in rural and remote South Australia.

The consortium also includes Chamonix Health Solutions, Medical Communications Associates and Syslinx as well as Flinders University and the University of South Australia. Other members include Cardihab (Qld) and Medi-Map – a New Zealand company which recently established a presence in Adelaide at Tonsley.

Mr Blight said the Hospital 4.0 initiative had significant potential in emerging economies.

“For example, if India were to follow the health care path Australia has taken in the past, it would need to build hundreds of hospitals similar to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital. Utilising the Hospital 4.0 model would avoid the huge capital costs and provide a better, more flexible and more responsive system of patient care.”

MedDev SA CEO, Mr Richard Barrett, said the Hospital 4.0 project would create new commercialisation and employment pathways in the Medical Devices industry.

“This is a very real demonstration of smart clusters re-energising high-technology industries and we are delighted that this initiative will be led from South Australia,” Mr Barrett said.

MTPConnect’s Project Fund Program is a competitive, dollar-for-dollar matched funding program investing in big, bold ideas to improve the productivity, competitiveness and innovative capacity of Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector. MTPConnect is supported by the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centre’s initiative.

The CEO of MTPConnect, Sue MacLeman said her organisation was focussed on harnessing Australia’s world-class research to seize more commercialisation opportunities and accelerate growth in Australia’s medical technologies and pharmaceuticals industry.

“As part of our mission, we are funding big, bold ideas that will deliver results on a national scale, have sector-wide impact, and are aligned with the Sector Growth Priorities we have identified in our 10-year Sector Competitiveness Plan. By supporting projects such as Hospital 4.0, we believe we can develop a more vibrant MTP sector ecosystem with more successful companies, and ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of Australia and the world.”

For further information please contact:
Richard Barrett at MedDev SA on 08 8152 9394