WA Govt to host health ‘hackathon’

Health hackathon WA

The Western Australia Government’s Data Science Innovation Hub (WADISH) will once again host a ‘hackathon’ aimed at developing a range of real-world digital solutions for the healthcare sector.

The 10-day event, to be held in mid-August, will bring together data and digital specialists, as well as students, to address five key areas of concern within the state’s hospital system.

Among these focus areas include the development of a system to automate hospital capacity management, helping to better predict demand for hospital and surgical services.

Another will explore digital solutions to help detect sepsis, including identifying patients at higher risk of developing the illness.

Data specialists, in one task, will also have the opportunity to investigate datasets to determine potential beneficiaries of cochlear hearing implants.

The last two areas will include new methods to automate and optimise community healthcare appointments and improve mental health initiatives.

Innovation & ICT and Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson said the hackathon will support the state’s efforts to drive change and implement innovative solutions in the healthcare space.

“The WA Health Hackathon plays an integral role in this process and this year’s event will build on the great success of last year.

“I encourage those interested to register and participate in this engaging forum and help make a big difference on how we revolutionise health care in the future.”

The WA Government reaffirmed its commitment to establishing the state as a global hub for medical research and the development of digital health, Dawson said.

Earlier this year the WA Government also announced an $8.65 million boost for the health and medical life sciences industry, as a part of its four-year plan to attract investment, diversify the economy, and boost jobs creation.

From a total $8.65 million commitment, the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation was expected to receive $2.5 million to establish a health and medical life sciences team that would implement key elements of the strategy, including:

  • engaging with industry, the Commonwealth and investors to leverage collaboration and partnership funding opportunities for the sector in WA;
  • funding of $250,000 for a business case to support the development of common use facilities for local companies to prototype and manufacture products and devices;
  • industry commercialisation and market readiness; and
  • a $1.6 million to enterprises to boost WA’s competitiveness.

This strategy was also expected to lay the groundwork to establish the WA as a global hub for research, development and commercialisation of digital health, medical technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and health and wellness products.