Five digital health transformers get the nod

5 minute read

As promised, this PHN is spreading almost $1.5m around innovators to improve access to primary care.

Back in March Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN opened a grants process looking for innovative digital solutions to increasing access to primary care in its region. 

The results are in and this week the PHN announced the allocation of $1.485 million collectively to five “pioneering” projects. 

Originally committing $1 million, the PHN expanded its funding due to a massive response and the high quality of proposals received. 

“The response to the Game Changer Technology Grants was overwhelming,” said CEO Richard Nankervis.  

“Our goal was to attract diverse stakeholders in digital health solutions, and our efforts have brought forth truly transformative ideas. 

“These projects will introduce technologies previously unavailable in our communities, such as Goldilocks and Vision Flex.  

“Over the next 12 months, we will implement, test, and evaluate these initiatives, expecting them to serve as proof of concepts for future development across our region. We will be showcasing the results of these pilots so that all interested stakeholders from across the region can benefit from the learning.” 

The five successful projects are: 

  • EngageVR proposes to introduce its virtual reality telehealth platform as an innovative care model to enhance access to allied health rehabilitation, by hosting a library of virtual rehabilitation modules for physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to guide patients through personalised exercises and therapeutic activities. 
  • Visionflex will partner with Wounds Australia to introduce a telehealth solution centred around the high-quality GEIS® camera for detailed wound and skin assessments, coupled with a real-time video call system for seamless communication and collaboration between clinicians, patients, and remote wound experts.  
  • Goldilocks Suite will improve access to care for patients living with dementia by integrating sensors into clothes to create comfortable and easy-to-use remote monitoring devices which track respiration, mobility (falls, wandering), sleep, skin, and core temperature to enhance safety and quality of life, enabling early intervention and personalised care, helping to prevent and alert about health issues. 
  • Three Circles Psychology is co-designing and piloting a virtual mental health clinic platform, designed to be engaging, interactive, and tailorable to the unique needs of children and young people who require access to support via telehealth. 
  • Rural Fit will deliver a technology-based solution to increase the equity of primary care, specifically an autonomous satellite clinic for the delivery of exercise-based allied health services for Narrabri, through a combination of video and sensor-based technology. 

“We thank all organisations and individuals who took the time to submit an application,” said Mr Nankervis.  

“Those who were unsuccessful in this grant round can be assured that we are continuing to assess applications to determine how we explore more of the ideas submitted.” 

Opportunities and appointments at SEMPHN 

South East Melbourne PHN is looking for at least two new non-executive directors due to planned retirements. 

Applicants must have previous board-level experience in corporate governance developed in medium-to-large healthcare settings and/or a commissioning environment across a diverse range of stakeholders. Essential skills also include financial literacy and an understanding of regulatory and risk management frameworks. 

For more information check out the Director Applicant Information Pack. Applications close at 5pm on Wednesday 17 July 2024. 

SEMPHN has welcomed three new members to its Clinical and Community Council.  

Andrea Edwards is a proud Gunditjmara woman with over 30 years’ experience in nursing. For the past 15 years she has been a practice nurse at Prahran Market Clinic which specialises in sexual, LGBTIQA+ and HIV health.  

Kate Coomber is a family worker in the Psychological Trauma Service at Alfred Mental and Addiction Health. Passionate about health ownership for CALD communities, First Nations, and aging populations, Kate advocates for effective and equitable healthcare communication and digital health rights.  

Jawid Sayed oversees programs including the federal refugee settlement program (SETS) and Asylum Seeker Support Program. Jawid has more than 15 years’ diverse experience of working in the health and not-for-profits sectors in Australia and overseas in many areas, including community development, health promotion, monitoring and evaluation, international development and refugee settlement programs. 

New video of residential aged care 

Eastern and North Western Melbourne PHNs have collaborated with Ambulance Victoria to produce a new eight-minute video for residential aged care home (RACH) staff and GPs, on behalf of Victoria’s six PHNs. 

Through the voices and experiences of aged care staff, a resident, family member, GP, paramedic and emergency physician, the video discusses the after-hours toolkit that PHNs have developed for RACHs and how the kit works in practice. 

With high demand on ambulance services and sometimes limited availability of medical assistance in rural areas, the video also talks about the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department and what people can expect when using the service. 

To watch the video, click here. To access the after-hours toolkit and other resources for aged care, click here

Capital Health opens tenders 

Capital Health Network is on the hunt for a provider for the new Tuggeranong Mental Health Centre to “develop, establish, and operate the [centre] as an accessible and highly visible entry point to services for people experiencing psychological distress, including person-centred, high-quality, and culturally safe assessment, navigation support, and mental health interventions”. 

A briefing session will be held at 11am this Thursday 11 July. You can register here

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