Four finalists front up for Clinicians' Challenge 2015

A web-based referral app for cataract surgery, a joined-up system for adverse drug reactions, a low-cost set of devices to allow GPs to better provide eye care and an iPad app to help diagnose and treat skin conditions remotely are all in the running for the 2015 Clinicians' Challenge, being announced at the Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ) conference in Christchurch next week.

The annual Clinicians' Challenge, a joint initiative between HiNZ and the Ministry of Health, usually turns up some good ideas that can be commercialised, including the 2011 winner Listen Please from North Shore Hospital intensive care specialist Janet Liang.

This year, the challenge has been divided into two categories: one for new ideas and one for projects actively in development. The winner in each category will receive a grant of $8000 and runners-up will receive a grant of $2000.

In the new ideas category, James McKelvie of the Waikato DHB has entered a concept forr a tool for the electronic referral, risk assessment and real-time audit for the 30,000 cataract surgeries completely annually in New Zealand.

“This new idea is for a web-based, end-to-end application to replace the current paper-based system which is time consuming, involves multiple delays and fails to capture valuable patient data,” his entry states. “The electronic system will feature vastly enhanced functionalities such as instant online referrals, pre-operative surgical risk analysis and real-time audit of surgical results and case-load complexities.”

Rob Ticehurst of Auckland DHB wants to rethink allergies and adverse drug reactions through a joined-up system to better manage patient risks associated with medication allergies.

There is an opportunity to work collaboratively to scope and build a platform that would enable medication allergy information to be captured and shared within the region. “Currently, as patients move between hospitals in the region, their allergy data rarely travels with them – and if it does, it isn’t in a format that enables easy re-use,” he says.

In the active projects/development category, Hong Sheng Chiong of Gisborne Hospital has entered oDocs Eye Care from his company OpththalmicDocs, a social enterprise and charitable trust that develops innovative ophthalmic technology.

oDocs Eye Care uses mobile technology to create a low-cost system to brings standard ophthalmic equipment into the hands of all primary care providers so they can reach those living in the most remote regions.

“It enables GPs to correctly diagnose and refer patients to ophthalmologists, and makes accurate, basic eye care easily accessible, available and affordable,” the entry says. “The system includes a mobile app and two ophthalmic imaging devices compatible with 3D printing.”

Former New Zealander of the Year and Kaitaia GP Lance O'Sullivan has entered vMOKO ('virtual mokopuna'), which uses mobile technology to remotely diagnose and treat skin conditions of schoolchildren in the far north of New Zealand.

It uses a specially developed application installed on iPads and digital clinical equipment that enables trained non-clinical volunteers to identify and record simple medical problems and send them electronically to the general practice in Kaitaia, minimising the need for a face-to-face consultation.

These are diagnosed remotely and appropriate medication is then prescribed and relayed to the kid's local pharmacy.

The winners will be announced at the gala dinner at HiNZ on Tuesday, October 20.

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

Tags: HiNZ

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