Do you like things like antibiotics, diagnostic blood tests and at home thermometers? I sure do!

It’s easy to take modern medical marvels like these for granted but we shouldn’t.While medicine and health care in the modern day has for (most) people come leaps and bounds in the past few decades, we haven’t come far enough.There’s still progress to be made, and much of the technology likely to do that is already partially developed. It just hasn’t been adequately commercialised.

Talk to any techno-futurist about the possibilities of medicine and our mortal functionality; they’ll blow your mind, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most people used to believe that curing disease involved things like bloodletting, and that germ theory was preposterous. Advancements in the human condition take giant leaps of faith propelled by courageous individuals with dogged conviction. Often it’s the seemingly simple ideas that can have powerful benefits to our day-to-day lives.

Now we live in a world where those courageous individuals have more access to education and the tools to innovate than ever before. Yet despite this, Australians are often left waiting for hours at the GP, it can take days to schedule an appointment and national centralised medical records are still not a reality. What’s taking so long? It’s about connecting the dots in a professional field that has strived to silo things as much as possible for the past century. That’s going to take time and creativity.

The good news is that that’s what we do best in startup land: the cross pollination of new applications for existing solutions, or even just slight modifications to systems to make them more efficient! Let’s get serious about making medical delivery improvement happen sooner rather than later. That means getting ideas out there, testing them, and getting commercialisation funding mobilised! From where I’m sitting, there are a lot of good signs.

There’s significant momentum happening around key innovation to develop the answers to the health problems of yesterday. The really exciting thing is that the culture is slowly shifting towards one that recognises the need for collaboration and away from guarded, slow progress. Researchers, startup founders, developers and institutions will all benefit from joining forces to tackle wicked medical problems together. That’s happening now at an unprecedented rate and we’re thrilled to be part of the movement.

hellohealthtech-innovation-challenge-logo

We’ve partnered with Westpac to launch the HelloHealthTech Innovation Challenge, which is offering a AU$40,000 cash prize to fuel your early stage startup. If you have an innovative idea to boost productivity in Australia’s healthcare industry or improve patient experiences, this is your opportunity. Find more information on HelloHealthTech here – get your application in before 19 June!