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Australian Digital Health Agency calls for digital test bed proposals

Australian Digital Health Agency calls for digital test bed proposals

As announced
recently
, the Australian
Digital Health Agency
is calling for proposals for innovative test beds
that can be rigorously reviewed and then scaled nationally.

According to the announcement, the Digital Health Agency is
seeking expressions of interest that build on areas of high level of digital
maturity, with evidence of integrated governance arrangements between the
participants. Test beds should involve new approaches to addressing a health
challenge rather than pilots that have no plan or capacity to scale across a
population.

The test bed proposals will require collaborative model of
delivery and are intended to be partnerships between industry, government and
other organisations. They will be co-produced by consumers, governments,
healthcare providers, and entrepreneurs and will test evidence-based digital
empowerment of key health priorities. Projects can run for up to four years
depending on the test bed however, baseline measures will be required by
October 2018, and interim results at 12 to 18 months. Up to A$600,000 is
available per test bed.

CEO of the Digital Health Agency Mr Tim Kelsey said
digitally enabled models of care are an important priority in Australia's National Digital Health Strategy and
the test beds demonstrate the Agency’s commitment to work collaboratively with
stakeholders.

“During my time as CEO, I have witnessed some incredible
innovations that involve consumers, providers, and healthcare organisations
tackling critical priorities such as managing chronic disease in completely new
ways. The Agency wants to support these types of initiatives, to assist in
their evaluation, and to develop an evidence base of sustainable, scalable
initiatives to support further investment,” said Mr Kelsey.

Mr Kelsey also stated that Australia is increasingly
recognised to be in a unique position to test and trial digital health
solutions that can be implemented in a diverse and sometimes fragmented system
and have the ability to scale nationally.

“These projects will require exemplar regions and sectors
with a strong existing capability to deliver outcomes. It is essential to
demonstrate feasibility and efficacy for a potential test bed to proceed,” he
said.

President of the Medical
Software Industry Association
(MSIA) Ms Emma Hossack welcomed the Agency’s
approach to market. She believed that Australia’s health software industry has
remarkable capability.

“These test beds will give our (MSIA) members the ability to
showcase this capacity in worthwhile settings. Prerequisites of maturity and
scalability together with transparent evaluation mean these exemplars will have
real value for Australian healthcare,” she said.

The Agency has also responded to industry calls to minimise
the regulatory burden for respondents and is requesting submissions of no more
than 5 pages. The tender,
available on AusTender, closes at 2pm on 6 June 2018.