Innovation Fund Targets Better Health Outcomes

The Andrews Labor Government’s Public Sector Innovation Fund will support a crucial project to make the most of our world-class medical research so that we can make that next new breakthrough to improve patient care.

Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings today joined health professionals and researchers at the Royal Melbourne Hospital to announce grant funding of $450,000 towards the Melbourne Health Accelerator (MHx) program.

Australia produces some of the world’s best medical research but often lags behind other countries in translating this into better patient outcomes and commercially viable ideas. Health technology startups also have little opportunity to collaborate with frontline health professionals who best understand the healthcare challenges.

As an Australian first, MHx will work with clinicians and researchers as they develop new technologies to tackle some of the most pressing and emerging challenges facing our healthcare system today.

The program will also cultivate commercially viable answers to complex healthcare challenges, by connecting health professionals and leading medical research experts with health technology start-ups.

MHx builds on an initial pilot conducted at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2016, which involved around 40 hospital staff and 15 health technology startups, including Virtual Healthcare who were able to identify applications for their digital education platform, MySurgery, in neurosurgery and chronic disease management.

The project is being jointly funded by the Labor Government’s $11 million Public Sector Innovation Fund and the Department of Health and Human Services.

A number of grants have been awarded since the Fund’s launch in December 2015 for projects including Monash University’s project to boost the immunisation rates of secondary school students, and the Neighbourhood Justice Centre’s development of online Family Violence Intervention Order applications.

Applications for the Public Sector Innovation Fund are open. More information is available at www.publicsectorinnovation.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings

“Australia produces world class medical research, but we need to do more to realise the commercial and social benefit that flows from it, including better healthcare and new jobs.”

“MHx will help fill that gap by putting all the key players together to boost patient outcomes and create jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Melbourne Health Chief Executive Professor Christine Kilpatrick

“The Royal Melbourne Hospital has a long and proud history of firsts in medical research and care; and innovation has been at the core of all our medical breakthroughs.”

“There are endless opportunities for innovation when we bring together clinicians and medical researchers with local health-technology companies, and we are excited about what the future holds for our patients and staff.”