AIIA proposes Indo-Asia digital health centre


The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has called on its members and counterpart associations throughout Asia to consider contributing seed funding to establish a new centre to commercialise digital health and devices into Indo-Asia. 

Ron-GauciThe vision for the Centre is to foster global partnerships, remove barriers to market entry and facilitate faster deployment of digital health solutions to clinicians, patients and carers in the WA health system as well as the burgeoning Indo-Asia market,” said AIIA CEO Ron Gauci.

The proposed Indo-Asia Digital Health Centre for Innovation and Commercialisation (IDHC) which will be based in Western Australia, will seek to help researchers and innovators in that state navigate into a 4-5 billion population market.

The AIIA said the Sustainable Health Review released by the Minister for Health, Roger Cook, in April highlighted the need for investments in digital health care and the need to nurture a more vibrant innovation, research and translation culture in WA. 

The Indo-Asia DHC will be an incorporated not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, will hold charity status, be an attractive tax-deductible gift recipient and be ARC registered. It will collaborate with public and private health providers, universities, research organisations and medical technology companies to develop and commercialise digital health technologies. 

According to the AIIA, it will attract industry grants, funding and venture capital to fund Proofs of Concepts to solve critical health challenges for both the WA and Indo-Asia markets. “Investors are being sought for early incubator funding as well as late stage Series A and B investors to improve the success of innovators and have access to royalty free licences and equity returns on IP,” it added.

“We have members who are proven to be the most innovative in the world, yet face real headwinds in collaboration, and require specialist advice on innovation, product development and commercialisation. 

They will benefit greatly from access to venture capital to export internationally and create jobs locally in WA. They also need timely help from the Department of Health to validate pilots, proofs of concepts and facilitate innovation in this State. If we can’t convert investment into ideas and ideas into commercialisation, we cannot create jobs,” Gauci said. 

As a national industry body, we represent a $3.2 billion export industry made up of both the major multinationals as well as a significant base of small to medium sized enterprises of which Western Australian organisations are well represented,” he added. 

The Indo-Asia DHC will aim to:

  • Bring together leading WA medical researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to build on the output of the many early stage innovation hubs and incubators to promote investment and scale commercially ready innovations. 
  • Focus on the export of WA digital health innovations to create trade with Asia and WA job creation opportunities in a $400 billion market which is growing at 21% p.a. Venture capitalists contributed $2.4 billion in January 2019 alone in North America into this sector, yet in WA there is a lack of scale and networks into Asia. 
  • Collaborate with a consortium of leading organisations with health and international research capabilities such as CSIRO, University of Western Australia, University of Notre Dame, Murdoch University, Curtin University, St John of God Health Care, Telethon Kids Institute, a private health insurer and others. 
  • The Centre will link leading research capability around Proofs of Concepts to tackle the major digital health challenges in the region and offer returns to investors in validated solutions, as well as preferential placement in subsequent Series A and B investments. 
  • Work closely with public and private health providers, hospital-based Innovation Hubs, the WA Health Translation Network, independent medical technologists, researchers, innovators, institutions, government, philanthropists and venture capitalists to create a collaboration environment and commercialisation network. 
  • Focus on the biggest challenges and largest market demand around: 

Precision/personalised medicine, Bio sensing and wearables, Lifestyle and patient apps, Telemedicine, Predictive analytics & AI, Digital Health Clinics, Digital Health for Mental, Digital Health for Ageing/ Dementia; and Digital Pharmacy. 

In addition, the Centre will create academic pathways to develop digital health education and training in WA collaborating with universities and academic institutions to ensure that digital health research informs and aligns with training, workforce and patient care, in order to create a sustainable, evidence-based, high quality health system of the future. 

Optus Business delivers voice, data to Ramsay Health Care in key digital health win

Optus Business has struck a strategic, multi-year partnership for digital network and telecommunications services with Australia’s largest private hospital group, Ramsay Health Care.

Under the agreement, Optus will deliver a suite of voice and data services for Ramsay’s facilities across Australia, serving some one million patients and 30,000 employees.

Optus Business said the comms platform will allow healthcare professionals to provide a seamless experience, designed to meet patients’ current and future needs. “Ramsay will also benefit from the Optus network which will deliver high-speed data services, smooth network migration transitions and enhanced, accurate billing systems.”

“Technology, connectivity and digitisation is transforming the way we all access healthcare,” said Optus Business MD Simon Vatcher.

More specifically, the agreement will provide critical connectivity for key areas. “Enhancing doctors’ connectedness, patient experience and hospital performance will result in a better delivery of health services,” said Ramsay CIO John Sutherland.

“Our partnership with Optus can help us manage today’s risks, and capture tomorrow’s opportunities as we continue to evolve our operations to deliver the best patient outcomes,” he said.


The Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) has formally warned Telstra, Optus and Vodafone for failing to offer information about products and services that may benefit consumers with a disability.

Under the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code, telcos are required to provide information about the disability products and services they offer to consumers who have identified having such needs.

Nerida_O’Loughlin_Chair_of_the_Australian_Communications_and_Media_Authority“Telecommunications services play a vital role in the lives of all Australians. It is critical that consumers with a disability are able to find out about services and products that may suit their particular needs when making enquiries with their telco,” commented ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

According to the ACMA, its investigation uncovered  “significant gaps in knowledge and awareness of disability products” among consumer-facing sales staff employed by the  telcos.

It kicked off the investigation following research by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network indicating poor practice by telcos in supplying information to people with disabilities.

‘The ACMA and Australian Communications Action Network work together on important consumer issues and I thank them for undertaking this research,’ said Ms O’Loughlin, noting that following the formal warning, TelstraOptus and Vodafone indicated they will ensure staff are equipped with the accurate information about products and services for people with a disability.