2nd November 2016

Seven teams from around the world with innovative ideas to improve healthcare in remote communities will compete for $325,000 in prizes at the 2016 Global Business Challenge at QUT.

The Challenge, a business competition for universities and business schools, is run by Brisbane’s three universities, QUT, The University of Queensland and Griffith University, with support from the State Government and industry.

This year’s competition tasked teams from the world’s top graduate schools and universities with developing solutions to improve the effectiveness and cost of health care for isolated communities.

The event culminates with final presentation judging tomorrow (THURSDAY NOVEMBER 3) from 8.30am at QUT’s Executive Education Centre, Level 4 B Block, Gardens Point campus.

They include The Smart Toilet Company, a QUT-team whose Smart Toilet provides patient monitoring via urine analysis using smart apps. The sample is analysed remotely by clinicians and results are compared with other patient data to give greater insights into a person’s health.

Dr Peter Beven, Director of the Global Business Challenge, said all the finalists had devised impressive solutions with the potential to make a real difference to people living in isolated communities across the world.

“The judges have been very impressed with the high quality of ideas,” he said.

“Identifying new clinical services and technologies to deliver better and more affordable healthcare to communities facing social, cultural and physical isolation is a core challenge for health care providers globally. The final presentations demonstrate that with new technologies and novel business models we can directly address this challenge.”

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner tomorrow evening.

The first-placed team will receive $100,000, with $15,000 to the second-placed team and $10,000 to the third. Queensland Health will also offer a prize of $100,000 cash and $100,000 in-kind to support a pilot of one of the projects.

The finalists are:

InnovationX - The University of Melbourne (Australia)
In Australia, we continuously face critical challenges in delivering healthcare services for rural and isolated communities that are efficient, sustainable, and cost effective. A contributing factor to this problem is that these communities of more than 7 million Australians are scattered across a vast area of 7.5 million square kilometres. We at InnovationX Consulting, propose to create an innovative healthcare service model to address these issues by collaborating with TeleMedCare as a technology provider, as well as maximizing pre-existing government initiatives. Our proposal is focused on the end-user, to allow for better screening, disease prevention and management in communities where there is limited access to healthcare resources.

Edge Consulting - Memorial University (Canada)
Research shows that early detection and associated care can reduce the financial burden that cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer pose on individuals and the healthcare system. Our proposed solution includes the provision of diagnosis and associated primary care to isolated populations in their own community, through the use of pop-up diagnostic clinics (PDCs) developed through a partnership with established industry collaborator, Dynamic Air Shelters. Fully equipped PDCs would be powered by renewable energy and provide testing and results for individuals on-site, resulting in early detection and intervention, saving time and money, and improving healthcare outcomes for isolated populations. 

MedFix - Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf (Germany)
VirtualHealthQueensland consists of four interconnected pillars that offers solutions along the entire patient journey. The first pillar, VirtualHealthConnect, is a digital platform collecting patient`s data from all relevant stakeholders aiming to increase the quality of diagnostics, medication, therapy etc. by health analytics. The VirtualHealthRooms as the second pillar are physically existing rooms, equipped with medical devices that enable a wide variety of telehealth applications. Moreover, the learning app VirtualHealthLearning will improve the patient`s medical knowledge. In order to incentivize patients to use our platform we use the power of gamification and a reward system, VirtualHealthReward with monetary cashback.

The Smart Toilet Company - QUT (Australia)
The Smart Toilet provides continual monitoring of patient wellbeing via urine analysis which is recorded using smart apps and is analysed by clinicians remotely.  The test results are compared against an aggregate set of patient data to give greater insight into patients’ health. The solution will dramatically reduce the cost of condition testing as well as reducing avoidable hospital admissions via a self-service patient model.  This will reduce unnecessary testing in the hospital system whilst improving visibility into patient conditions both from a management and preventative point of view.

The Eradicators - Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (India)
This solution proposes to mobilize and digitize health care to increase access and improve quality of the service provided in a cost effective manner. The business ‘Clinic-on-wheels’would be a mobile medical van equipped with facilities to conduct quality diagnostics and consulting in rural and urban areas, and especially in isolated communities where medical infrastructure is inadequately developed and/or areas where there is a dearth of skilled medical staff. The scope of the services would focus on nutritional disorders to detect and help prevent the undesirable consequences of malnutrition and obesity. We propose an integrated approach which addresses the accessibility of healthcare to isolated community along with catering to nutritional disorders.

OmniCare - University of Calgary (Canada)
The OmniCARE solution brings a virtual clinic to patients in remote and indigenous communities. An OmniREACH agent travels to the remote areas, carrying with them the OmniPAK and a device (mobile or computer) with the OmniAPP interface. When OmniREACH agents interact with a patient, the patient's basic diagnostics information is collected using the OmniPAK which will automatically compile it into a secure e-Health record that is stored in the cloud. A doctor can then review the diagnostic data in real-time and interact with the patient remotely through a live video connection using the OmniAPP interface.

Durian Exchange - Team Durian Exchange – University of Exeter, University of Southampton, SOAS University of London (UK) and Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
The development of Internet-based platforms that seek to address concerns of community-based health care is proposed. One approach involves the development of an interactive web-based platform that links health care providers to isolated communities via appointed representatives, who help collate health data and demographical information. The other approach is the design of an interactive multi-purpose app that encourages individuals to take care of their own health as well as getting the youth involved in community health programmes.

To find out more, please visit: http://www.2016gbc.org/ 

Media contact:
Rob Kidd, QUT Media, 07 3138 1841, rj.kidd@qut.edu.au
After hours, Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901

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