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The Challenge: DoH offers $5M prize for Pilbara healthcare solutions

Liam Wignell
Liam Wignell
// // Innovators are welcome to submit their solutions in Feb and Mar 2023...

Innovation and Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson has launched a global search for a solution to improve healthcare in Western Australia’s remote Pilbara region.

Dubbed “The Challenge”, the initiative seeks to use technology to provide remote residents with access to quality healthcare services.

The Western Australian Department of Health is overseeing the roll-out of “The Challenge” on behalf of the state government.

BHP Group Limited, Rio Tinto, and the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund have partnered to provide a $5 million prize for the winning solution.

The WA resources sector is known for its use of technology to manage remote operations, and this initiative aims to adapt that technology to improve healthcare in the vast Pilbara region, which covers over 500,000 square kilometres.

The goal of “The Challenge” is to develop a technology-based solution, based on research, to improve health outcomes for people living in the region.

Mr Dawson described the project as an exciting opportunity to reimagine the use of digital health solutions.

“We’re not calling for improvements, or adjustments. We need real change – we need innovation that can be utilised and applied to make a big difference to improve the health of all Western Australians living in the Pilbara,” he said.

Health outcomes in this region are significantly poorer than those living in the metropolitan area. We are looking for an outcome which harnesses new technology, deploys digital health to its full potential, and ensures all Western Australians can access the health services they need – and deserve.

Stephen Dawson, Innovation and Medical Research Minister

“The McGowan Government hopes to tap into the greatest scientific minds to solve WA’s biggest hurdle in delivering remote healthcare.

“We urge innovation companies and technological solutions around the world to take on our challenge, so WA can improve health outcomes as well as reap countless benefits across other sectors.”

The Challenge is seeking submissions from various organizations, including industry, private sector agencies, universities, research institutes, and international collaborations.

To win, the chosen submission must show proof-of-concept and be able to integrate solutions into existing healthcare delivery models in the Pilbara.

“BHP has a long and proud history in the Pilbara and we know from experience that quality healthcare in the regions can be difficult to access at times,” added BHP WA Iron Ore Asset President Brandon Craig.

“Western Australia is a world leader in resources technology and we look forward to seeing these exciting, research-based ideas in practise to ensure improved health outcomes for the Pilbara community.”

Rio Tinto Vice President, Health, Safety, Environment and Communities Cecile Thaxter noted that technology can play a role in providing better health outcomes for those living in the Pilbara.

“We have been operating in the Pilbara for over 50 years, where many of our people live and work,” she said.

“We are excited to partner with the State Government in finding cutting-edge technology to improve healthcare and build thriving communities in the Pilbara.”

Submissions open 1 February 2023 and close on 31 March 2023.

For more information, click here.

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Liam Wignell

Liam Wignell

Liam has extensive experience across marketing, procurement and project management roles in both the public and private sector. He contributed to Startup News from 2020 to 2023 and was contracted as Managing Editor in 2022.
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